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Gola prohibits age-set fights in Pibor

By William Madouk

 

All security apparatus, civil servants, and humanitarian workers found participating in age-set fights in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area will face persecution and risk losing their jobs, the area authority warned.

In an order No. 07/2024 seen by this outlet, the chief administrator of Greater Pibor Administrative Area, Gola Boyoi Gola, banned organized forces, NGOs, and government staff from participating in youth wrangles.

“In exercise conferred upon me under presidential decree (N0.82/2024) and Republic order No.07/2020 for the establishment of Greater Pibor Administrative Area… read together with Article 162(1) (a)(ii) of the Transition of Republic of South Sudan, 2011 amended,” partly reads the order.

“I, H.E. Gola Boyoi Gola, Chief Administrator of GPAA, do hereby issue this administrative order prohibiting all security apparatus, civil servant employees, and staff of international, national, and community-based organizations from participating in age-set in greater Pibor,” it added.

Failure to adhere to the administrative order that came into force on May 3, 2024, would lead to a punitive measure.

According to Gola, any humanitarian worker found guilty would be arrested, and the work contract would be immediately terminated.

Equally, any security personnel involved in the age-set fights—”a simmering youth fight”—would be nabbed and dismissed from the rank and file of the military or organized forces.

“Arrest and dismissal from the rank and file of military or organized forces,” Gola added. “Arrest and being dismissed from the list of government civil servant employees.”

Reacting to the order, the Executive Director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organizations (CEPO), Edmund Yakani, lauded the directives, citing that it is a long-awaited order because the age-set fight is posing a threat to the area.

“Young people are being supported or aided by some people who are powerful, and the people who are powerful are either in uniform, people who are working in NGOs, or those who are working in the private sector,” said Yakani.

“So, [the order] will help us in managing the age sets from being a group of negativities to a group of positivity,” he underscored.

The activist added that to ensure the order holds water, the chief administrator must steer the wheel and get support from the top leadership, including politicians and the people of Greater Pibor.

He called on the chief administrator to restructure young people in Pibor as champions of unity and peaceful co-existence by venturing into sports and dancing activities.

“As a civil society activist, we are planning to organize a roundtable between the GPAA and the donor community over how we go about dealing with the violence in greater Pibor and its neighbours,” noted Yakani.

 

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