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MP suggests dissolution of administrative areas

By Bida Elly David

A lawmaker at the National Assembly has suggested the dissolution of the three administrative areas to address continuous conflict in those areas.

The suggestion was raised during parliamentary discussions on the alarming insecurity in parts of the country.

Peter Gatkuoth Moyong, representing Uror County of Jonglei State said the creation of the administrative areas has given room for ethnic tensions.

“I recommend that the August House dissolves this issue of administrative areas because if we take greater Pibor, it was part of Jonglei State. It is a brother of other brothers,” he said.

He claimed that the separation of Pibor from Jonglei has heightened tension due to their perceived political separation.

“This issue of administration areas is making them to be more valued and it has to be noted with consideration. Let them all join their mothers and we don’t need this,” he added.

He emphasized the need for legal regulation to combat the misleading nature of certain cultures.

He stated that if the administrative areas are difficult to dissolve, an independent bill could be drafted to ban child abduction and cattle raiding.

He urged the Ministry of Justice to address these issues through the South Sudan Penal Code, which criminalizes these activities.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Ahmed Musa the acting government’s chief whip representing furiously criticized Gatkuoth’s suggestion saying the administrative areas were born to resolve disputes.

“The speaker is totally not in order because the administrative areas are constitutional legal entities in the Country, they are part and partial of the structures of the Country,” Ahmed said.

He warned Gatkuoth against his suggestion adding that it will fume extra conflict where resolving it will be inevitable.

“As lawmakers, we are supposed to represent the people but not to stand against them. Saying that the administrative areas are being sympathized is a wrong word. We are for all,” Ahmed noted.

For his part, John Agany, R-TNLA spokesperson, criticized the proposal to dissolve areas, stating that the penal code already criminalizes child abduction and human trafficking.

“My colleague Gatkuoth mentioned that we need to raise some standards of regulations to put this into practice. This suggestion sounds as if in the other way we allow people to abduct people and, in some cases, no,” Agany reacted.

“Disarmament is one of the priorities that will get rid of this and also court must be set up so that when one is caught in the act, he or she is immediately taken for investigation,” Agany added

South Sudan currently has three administrative areas; Ruweng, Abyei and greater Pibor.

Greater Pibor Administrative Area was created to address longstanding issues between the Murle ethnic group and neighboring communities in Jonglei state while Ruweng was created to address issues related to oil resources and land ownership in the former Unity state.

The two administrative areas have a degree of self-government and autonomy, with their own appointed governors and administrative structures.

Meanwhile, Abyei Administrative Areas was accorded “special administrative status” by the 2004 Protocol on the Resolution of the Abyei Conflict (“The Abyei Protocol”) as part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the Second Sudanese Civil War.

The area was to be jointly administered by Sudan and South Sudan.

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