July (BOR) – South Sudan’s peace deal with former rebel leader David Yau Yau will not lead to geographical or political division in Jonglei state.
- Residents of South Sudan’s Jonglei state celebrate the country’s third anniversary since gaining independence from the north in the capital, Bor, on 9 July 2014 (ST)
Caretaker governor John Kong Nyuon made the comments in a public address on 9 July in the capital, Bor, to mark the country’s third anniversary since independence from the north.
The deal, which was reached following negotiations between Yau Yau and the government delegations in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, in May, grants Greater Pibor, encompassing Pibor and Pochalla counties, a separate administrative area under the chief administrator whose powers would be equivalent to the state governor.
The agreement had sparked uncertainty among Jonglei residents, including government officials, about whether Greater Pibor would cease being part of the state administration once the deal comes effect.
However, Kong sought to allay concerns Jonglei would be divided into two separate states, saying the state administration and system of governance would not be affected by the peace accord.
“[The] Yau Yau peace deal with the government is almost complete. The national council of states has passed the accord and [it] is now before the president to sign it into law,” said Kong.
Members of the Murle and Anuak tribes in Pibor and Pochalla counties would also retain their current position in the state administration, which some claimed was unfair.
“Now we have [the] deputy governor, the minister of information and communication, the minister of finance and the minister of gender, child and social welfare are all from Greater Pibor. We have a list of directors, chairpersons of some committees and other people … They shoud resign from this and join their administrative area,” said one former lawmaker in Boor, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
However, another lawmaker said he would accept the terms of the agreement: “If it will solve raiding, child abduction and other crimes that [are happening] in the state, so is it,” he said.
According to the text of the agreement seen by Sudan Tribune, a chief administrator will be responsible for administering the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA).
The chief administrator will be nominated by Yau Yau’s South Sudan Democratic Movement (SSDM)-Cobra faction and is answerable to the president who can appoint and remove the nominee.
The chief administrator will be responsible for appointing county commissioners to the newly established counties.