By Ijoo Bosco
May 2, 2014 (TORIT) – Authorities in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state have warned a delegation representing Jonglei’s David Yau Yau-led rebel group against annexing part of Eastern Equatoria state territory to claim a state from Jonglei.
Elements in Jonglei have claimed the Jie community in Kasengor is under Pibor county administration. But Eastern Equatoria state authorities maintain Kasengor payam (district) is part of its Kapoeta East county and not Pibor.
State minister of education Michael Lopuke, who is representing Kapoeta East county, said they had learnt Yau Yau’s delegates in Addis Ababa were attempting to negotiate the annexation of part of Kasengor and the Boma of Kapoeta to be created as a state under the leadership of Pibor.
Yau Yau rebels are currently engaged in peace talks in the Ethiopian capital with the South Sudanese government.
Lopuke denounced the plan, saying Eastern Equatoria would not accept any encroachment on its territory.
He stressed that any agreement between the central government and Yau Yau rebels that annexed Eastern Equatorian territory would be rejected by the state government, adding that the move would represent a violation of South Sudan’s constitution.
Meanwhile, Kapoeta South MP Martin Lopir questioned the credibility of the Jonglei government, calling on Yau Yau delegates in Addis Ababa to justify their claims on Eastern Equatoria state land.
He assured the Jonglei government that all chiefs and the Jie community in Kasengor and Boma receive their salaries from the Kapoeta East county administration.
Lopir called on the Council of States to intervene in the dispute to prevent the war of words escalating further amid worsening tensions over land encroachment between the Kapoeta East community and Pibor county’s Murle community.