July 22, 2014 (WAU) – South Sudan’s Warrap and Western Bahr el Ghazal states have formed a fact-finding committee tasked with determining the jurisdiction of Nyinakok, the newly inaugurated Jur River county headquarters.
- Warrap state’s acting governor, Akech Tong Aleu, speaking at Wau teaching hospital during an official visit in April 2014 (ST)
Both states claim the area, which was inaugurated by president Salva Kiir last week, as part of their territory.
Warrap state lodged its claim for the area just hours before the official inauguration, a day after Kiir arrived in Western Bahr el Ghazal capital Wau on 14 July.
Kiir has inaugurated several projects during his visit to Wau, including a maternity ward, blood bank and museum, as well as the new Wau county headquarters in Ngo Baggari
The claim by Warrap state was led by chief Ngor Ater, who hails from Gogrial East county.
Speaking to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday, Warrap state’s acting governor, Akech Tong Aleu, said his state had already formed a fact-finding and technical committee, which is expected to tour the area this week and meet with another committee from Western Bahr el Ghazal state to determine the position of Nyinakok.
“We have formed the committee that will soon meet in Wau and determine the possibility of identifying the location of Nyinakok, which has now come under two states’ claims,” said Aleu.
Aleu said he had recently spoken to the Western Bahr el Ghazal state governor, who informed him he had directed his deputy to form a committee to help resolve the issue.
Aleu said he was confident that the issue would not result in a cross-border land dispute, adding that the committees were the best medium to determine which state the area belonged.
“We are quite sure that where ever the land will belong, it [will] still be shared by these local communities from the two states without any problem,” Aleu said.
Communities in the Jur River county have yet to comment on the issue.
However, Jur River county commissioner John Arop confirmed to Sudan Tribune that both states had claimed the area and a meeting would be held to discuss the competing claims for Nyinakok.