By Manyang Mayom
April 17, 2011 — The governor of Lakes state Chol Tong Mayay has said that a 400 strong police force will be deployed along the border between Lakes and Western Equatoria to prevent further clashes between communities.
Tong returned to Saturday after a one week meeting in Juba with government of South Sudan officials from Lakes’ Yirol West county and Mvolo county of Western Equatoria.
“I was invited to Juba to attend the AU delegation meeting on post war construction and development by government of Southern Sudan.”
The governor said he and his Western Equatoria counterpart Joseph Bakasoro have agreed that the government of South Sudan will deploy over 400 policemen as a buffer force in a attempt to avoid further clashes between the border communities.
Governor Tong was invited by Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) to attend the African Union (AU) meeting in Juba under theme “post war construction and development”. The Lakes state government presented their developmental program during the meeting.
Tong said that as clashes between Mvolo and Yirol West county the Bar-naam Bridge was large part of discussions.
He explained that the committee was formed by GOSS president and Nhial Deng Nhial, the minister of SPLA affairs was assigned as a chairman of investigations committee to investigate Mvolo and Yirol West County clashes.
The governor also revealed that transport between Juba and greater Bahr el Ghazal will stop if Bar-naam Bridge is not repaired before the rainy season begins.
He also added that road connection Awerial County, Yirol West County to Rumbek the capital of Lakes state need to be repaired before the rain states.
Governor Tong said that “if no work is being done by chiefs and commissioners in their respective counties then they will lose their respective seats in my government”.
Tong affirmed that the minister of transport and road in South Sudan government had agreed that repairing Bar-naam bridge needed to completed quickly as it connected Lakes and the rest of South Sudan to the Bahr el Ghazal region. the The repairing of the bridge in the Yirol and Rumbek road has already started, he said.
RELOCATION OF CAPITAL
The governor reaffirmed his commitment to lobby for the capital of South Sudan be re-located to Ramciel in Lakes state.
South Sudan, which will become independent in July, is considering whether to move the capital from Juba to a more central area of the region. Ramciel in Lakes state is one of the locations being considered.
Governor Tong said that it was “still possible” that “Lakes state will win the lobby” for the new South Sudan capital.
The cabinet of ministers in the South Sudan government “will discuses issue of relocation of capital and parliament will make final decision”, he said.
Over 60 young men in Lakes state are in custody for charges of rape, abduction and elopement with underage girls. Youth groups have been campaigning for months against the ruling and sentencing of Rumbek High Court claiming that laws are being misused.
Governor Tong said that a solution is being reached through South Sudan’s Supreme Court chief justice John Wol Makec by removing the Rumbek High Court judge Raimondo Legge. Tong said that those in jail would have their cases reviewed by judge who is replacing Raimondo.
He affirmed that “there is solution reached by chief justice – we are going to maintain judiciary in good faith”.
During South Sudan’s referendum on independence cattle raiding in Lakes state decreased but it has increased again since January leading on occasion to civilian deaths
Governor Tong said that counties commissioners who are no able “to convince their youth to avoid cattle raids will lose their seat.”
Tong said: “I am also appealing to all Lakes state chiefs that your duties to talk to youth are open – it is huge responsibility to tell youth to distance themselves from raids. If raids continue in your respective counties, then you chiefs also will be affected by decision that the government of Lakes state would take.”
The commissioner of Lakes state police Saed Abdulatif Cawuol Lom said that Lakes state police are well equipped to maintain security and law and order during the independence declaration on July 9.
Abdulatif said: “We have prepared game and security protection to civilians of entire Lakes state during the declaration of independent day and after”.
The police commissioner denied allegations that the police have harassed civilians in Lakes state. “Our police is not harassing anybody and if such harassment are there, then let people report to police headquarters’ such incidents’, he said.
Abdulatif noted that “police is set not to train to harass any person – police is to be friendly to people despite their political parties’ affiliation”.
“I need police to maintain peaceful atmosphere by all main to civilians – I have provide transport to police and this is the first time police have transport in Lakes state – governor have already issued nine cars plus five pick-up vehicles that I brought from Juba”.
Transport of police in Lakes state has improved, he said.