South Sudan’s prominent opposition leader, Dr. Lam Akol, has rejected the recent unilateral decision taken by the SPLM-IO and ITGNU to relocate the headquarters of Makal County to Wau Shilluk.
On Friday, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Elias Lomoro announced that the Parties had resolved that Makal shall be the name of the county and Malakal shall be the Municipality and shall be headed by a Mayor.
“A logical deliberation and checking documentations, and lot of reasoning .. we have resolved that Makal shall be the name of the county and that county – Makal county – shall comprise of Makal County shall be comprised of Warjowk Payam, Lilo Payam, Ogodo Payam and Wau Shilluk Payam as its head headquarters,” Elias was quoted as saying.
In a press release, Akol challenged Elias for not referring to an article in the state constitution or the current Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
“The media is awash with a statement attributed to the Minister of Cabinet Affairs of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to the effect that they have decided to detach Malakal town from Makal County and locate the capital of the latter to Wau Chollo.”
“The Minister did not quote the article of the Upper Nile State Constitution or an article in the Revitalized Peace Agreement which gives him and those who were in that meeting the authority to decide on such a constitutional matter,” he challenged.
The opposition leader said the creation of Makal County was issued long ago by Dr. John Garang de Mabior in 2004 prior to the signing of the CPA in Naivasha.
“The Establishment Order as issued by the Chairman of the SPLM/A, Dr John Garang de Mabior, in his message No. 003/10/2004 dated 16/10/2004, defined Makal County as composed of Malakal town and the two chieftaincies of Lelo and Ogod. We are not aware of a “Wurjwok” payam. The capital has always been in Malakal town. When Malakal Municipality was introduced sometime between 2010 and 2012 its capital coexisted with that of Makal County in Malakal town.”
“What is new this time around? The capital of Juba County, for example, is still in Juba town despite the presence of the Juba Municipality there. why should Makal County be an exception? This decision is not based on the Constitution of the Upper Nile State nor the Revitalized Peace Agreement.”
Akol criticized the opposition and the government for not acting in accordance with the constitution or the current peace agreement, which gives leaders legal rights to amend and introduce new change in the country.”
“The procedures for amending these legal documents are clear and have not been followed. The few persons who arrogated to themselves the right to take this decision should inform the public about the legal basis of their action. Otherwise, it will be considered yet another gimmick to serve narrow interests.”