National, News

Fiery exchange ensues over Pibor top seat

By William Madouk


A fierce political faceoff sparked during the weekend over Greater Pibor Administrative Area, top seat.

Chairperson of Anyuak community, Munira Abdellaha, and Greater Pibor ex-chief administrator, David Yau Yau ensnared in a scuffle over Pacholla question.

It all started when Murle community leader, Kennedy Gain Ngare, urged the new chief administrator of Greater Pibor, Gola Boyoi Gola, to critically look into Pochalla matter.

Ngare noted that, if not managed well, the Pacholla issue, is a ‘ticking time bomb.’

“The issue of Pochalla is stirred up by those who need seats,” Ngare said.

He tasked the Anyuak people should come out in the open to air out their grievances to solve the unrest once and for all.

“The people of Pochalla should have come out in the open to say, we are discriminated against! Since the creation of GPAA, we have not gotten the post of area administrator; this time we need it,” he noted.

“But they did not do so; if they had raised that concern, I think that is their right to rule Pibor,” Ngare affirmed.

In a rebuttal, Ms. Munira Abdellaha, an MP who is also a member of the specialized committee on mining in the national parliament, lamented discrimination and raised a question on why Murle reigned in Pibor top seat.

“It was said earlier that if Anyuak needed the post of chief administrator, they did not ask for it, and I would say if I had my father ahead of me while leading the way, he was supposed to give a chance to his children,” said Munira.

“Why is the position of Deputy Chief Administrator always written on our back? No, it is not written in our backs—you Murle people, what have you done to Anyuak, who stood up to say this time, Anyuak will not be deputy [but chief administrator]?” she questioned.

She cited that Anyuak people are now quiet; ‘it is because Murle are the majority and warriors, and they Anyuak are seen as not warriors like them.

Moreover, Munira advised youth to shun killings and abductions and join hands for peace and development in the Greater Pibor area.

However, Gen. David Yau Yau, the brainchild of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area and ex-chief administrator, argued that the appointment of an administrator is not a matter of Murle-making but a choice made by individuals.

“Majority, think that Murle people are united, and that is why they never one day sit down to say the post of chief administrator should go this time to the Anyuak community,” said Yau Yau.

“Do you think that the Murle community first sits down to do appointments? It is only two, three, or four people who surprise the entire general public,” he continued.

Mr. Yau Yau, who recently joined the main opposition SPLM-IO party under Dr. Riek, claimed that Gola’s appointment was never recommended by Murle, and as such, the community is blameless.

“I would like to encourage some Anyuak and Murle who are working together to do their own lobbying so that an Anyuak can be appointed as the chief administrator of GPAA,” he noted.

“Don’t wait for Murle to give it to you; this seat is not given because this is a political matter, and even now Murle is having internal wrangles because of this top seat. So don’t blame us for what we don’t have a hand in,” Yau Yau added.

The trio attended the welcoming ceremony of the new Chief Administrator of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA), Gola Boyoi Gola, on Friday, where they exchanged words on the system by which Pibor is administered.

Yau Yau’s group, the Cobra faction, signed a peace agreement with President Kiir’s government in 2014, ending the war and carving out two counties, Pibor and Pochalla, within Jonglei State to create the now semi-autonomous GPAA.

But since the establishment of GPAA, Mr. Gola is the seventh chief administrator who is from Murle community; none of the other four tribes have taken the helm of the chief administrator.

The Greater Pibor administrative area is inhabited by the Murle, Anyuak, Kacipo, and Jie tribes.

In March 2024, 15 people, including the Commissioner of Jebel Boma County and the deputy commander of the South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) in the Pibor region, were slain in a road ambush by suspected armed teenagers from the Anyuak village.

According to the area information minister, Abraham Kelang, who earlier told the media, the group also murdered Pochalla County Commissioner in 2023, along with a director of national security.

He hinted that the motive of the rebellious group is a demand for separation from the Greater Pibor Administrative Area as the Anyuak community.



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