National, News

Ruweng chief Administrator hints on oil spill, invasion


By William Madouk


Ruweng Administrative Area (RAA) chief administrator spills the rot in oil pollution, an alarming rate of child deformities, and alleged occupation. To Council of States.

Taking to the podium, Stephano Wieu de Mialek hinted in his presentation before the Upper House of the Legislature on alarming cases of children born with abnormalities.

“The future of the Ruweng people and that of other South Sudanese settling in RAA is being threatened by oil spills and environmental pollution.” Mr. Stephano

“As I deliver this statement to this august House, the frequency of cases of children born with deformities is alarming,” he added.

The area ministry of health recorded five cases of deformities, of which five died and one is still alive.

According to a number of unverified reports, the South Sudanese oil industry has left the country’s landscape strewn with hundreds of open trash dumps, poisoned water, and toxic chemicals in the soil.

“Oil spills, mismanagement of waste, and a lack of standard of care by the oil companies have been major problems in the oilfield,” Stephano lamented.

He stated that the report on the first ever environmental social audit by the Ministry of Petroleum has not yet been released; worse yet, no results from the samples collected from babies have been made known yet.

The Ruweng area administrator also waved a red flag over the potential occupation and renaming of some places in his area.

“It is important to note that the RAA has said on countless occasions that it has no problem hosting the flood-affected communities from Unity State,” said Stephano.

However, he stressed that the primary responsibility for settling and hosting IDPs in Unity State must solely be under the area authority and its host communities, with coordination from said state.

“After the closure of Yaar, the IDPS were relocated to Miadiing (Lalob), which, to us, was a better strategy for mitigating further violence,” he stated.

“What we considered a better response to the reality of climate change and the devastating floods with all the induced effects on our population from Unity State turns out to be a strategy for settlement and occupation,” Stephano added.

He cited that the government of Unity, together with the ministry of petroleum and Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC), surveyed Miadiing (Lalob) and Panakuach and resettled the IDPS and returnees from Sudan.

But the strategy of occupation became clear when several areas in Ruweng were renamed, for instance, Miadiing to ‘Rotriak’, Wanhdanluel to ‘Kuerboni or ‘Dual-Jaang, and Panakuch to ‘Panyagai.’

“This is provocative, and any settlement of IDPs or returnees that aims at occupying territories of GRAA is inconsistent with the law and inconsiderate of peaceful coexistence and historical ties,” Stephano noted.

He claimed that ‘a project that has now led to permanency, renaming, and occupation’ started way back when Taban Deng Gai was governor, followed by his successor, Dr. Jospeh Monytui.

“All the resolutions of the presidency meeting chaired by H.E. the president remain unimplemented except for the deployment of the necessary unified forces in Wunkur,” he explained.

According to him, the border between Ruweng and Unity State is fragile and prone to potential threats and violent conflicts. Adding to that, it needs urgent solutions as polls near.

Mr. Stephano recommended that the administration of IDPs and returnees in his area be left under his management in coordination with the respective states where they belong.

Besides, he called for the withdrawal of Unity State’s and Guit County’s administrative structures in the Wanhdanluel (Manga) area of Ruweng Administrative Area.

Mr. Stephano further appealed to the Council of States and the minister of presidential affairs to mediate dialogue between his area and Unity State to reach a peaceful solution.

Furthermore, he warned all NGOs, UN agencies, and GPOC and its sub-contractors to cease activities that aid settlement programs that would create permanency in the area of Miadiing (Lalob).

“Should some of the displaced population choose later not to return, it is up to the RAA to allocate them land to settle as it is their right as South Sudanese to settle anywhere,” he continued.

He also called for the withdrawal of the SPLA-IO forces in Wunkur to help in the restoration of administrative status, allow the return of the civil population, and hold accountable those who committed the murder of the peace delegation.

Mr. Stephano emphasized that the environmental and social audits should be released as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the Council of States, in its first 2024 ordinary sitting on Wednesday at the Blue Room NLA building, formed a seven-member committee to study the document presented by Ruweng chief administrator and report back to the House.

Acting chairperson of information and member affairs in the council of state, Okello Odongsto told journalists that the House finally formed an ad hoc committee that will report back to the house after 2 weeks for deliberation.

“Then the House will now go through the recommendation of the ad hoc committee and get way forward,” he said.





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