August 22, 2014 (JUBA) – The newly appointed head of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) in South Sudan’s Jonglei state, David Yau Yau, on Thursday urged the Jie community to be patient if they wanted a county status.
- Greater Pibor Administrative Area head David Yau Yau (UN photo)
Yau Yau, a former rebel leader, was appointed head of the GPAA last month, in accordance to a May 2014 agreement, which ended four years of rebellion in Pibor.
He had earlier demanded that Pibor be curved out of Jonglei after losing elections in 2010 for a seat in the state legislative assembly.
GPAA is inhabited by the Murle, Jie, Kachipo and Anyuak ethnic communities. The Jie communities, who occupy parts of Jonglei and Eastern Equatoria states, want an independent territory of their own.
“Of course, they [Jie] presented it [proposal for a new county]and it has been debated over, in the presence of the president,” Yau Yau told reporters in the capital, Juba on Friday.
“This is their choice. If they want to join there [GPAA], it is up to them,” he added.
Jie community leaders reportedly fear being assimilated into other societies without a county of their own as most regions in South Sudan now base their existence on cultural identities.
Natabu Abraham, a Jie community leader, argued that bringing the various sections into one administrative area will serve them better.