JUBA – A youth group in South Sudan’s Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) has rejected the allocation of Pibor County to South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, days after an agreement between government representatives and their SPLM-IO counterparts was reached on the allocation of counties.
Pibor is the capital city of the GPAA established in 2014 after President Salva Kiir and then rebel group, Cobra faction, led by General David Yau Yau, who later become a governor when the area became a state, signed an agreement to end a 4-year conflict that began back in 2010.
In an open letter to President Salva Kiir today, the Greater Pibor Administrative Area Youth Union in Juba rejected the allocation of the county to Machar, saying the action between the parties violates the 2014 peace agreement which later on resulted in the creation of five more counties in the area beside Pibor and Pochala counties.
“Mr. President, on 25th October 2020, the GPAA communities and particularly (Murle community) was astonished by report seen in the social media that Pibor County has been allocated to SPLM-IO led by Dr. Riek Machar, the leader of Sudan People Liberation Movement In Opposition,” the organization said in a statement.
“To make matter worse, the name of GPAA has vanished as per agreement signed between your administration and then South Sudan Democratic Movement-Cobra faction led by David Yau Yau signed on 9th May 2014 and also supported by Republican Degree dated 22nd February 2020,” it added.
“The Presidential Degree dated 22nd February 2020 constituted GPAA and the Counties of Pibor and Pochala were legally separated from Jonglei State. Your Presidency and Dr. Riek Machar are fully aware about it. The community was surprised and now we have come to know that GPAA is dead, killed by Dr. Riek Machar in the name of R-ARCSS Agreement signed on 15 August 2015 by refusing to accept the peace agreement signed by your administration and Cobra-led rebellion.
“The Murle community in Pibor Area, in South Sudan and diaspora write this letter to express their concerns and clearly inform your Presidency that Murle Community reject and totally refused allocation of Pibor County to SPLM-IO, under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar.
“Greater Pibor administrative Area was separated from Jonglei State by Agreement signed on 9th May 2014. The same agreement like what Dr. Riek Machar had signed with your government in 2015. Denying the Right of GPAA’s existence is a total violation and it’s unacceptable.
“The Republican Degree issued on date 22nd February 2020 has established GPAA fully and it is legally supported by your administration. Mr. President, returning Pibor and Pochala Counties to Jonglei State in this arrangement of power sharing is a total violation of agreement and the Presidential Decree issued on 22nd February 2020 rendered dead.
“The Greater Pibor Administrative Area was constituted with approved Seven (7) Counties, not two Counties as said by Dr. Riek Machar and his groups. If Dr. Riek Machar and the group wanted County power sharing in so called GPAA, the five (5) additional Counties established by Peace agreement signed on 9th May 2014 be added to 79 Counties of South Sudan and Dr. Riek Machar must recognized it in the new R-ARCSS Agreement signed in 2015.
“Dr. Riek Machar and his led SPLM-IO must not claim any power sharing seats in GPAA. This is because Dr. Riek Machar has categorically rejected establishment of Greater Pibor Administrative Area separate from Jonglei State and has led massive attacks against the community of Greater Pibor Administrative Area, where his forces had killed thousands of children and women and abducted huge number of women and children, leave alone the destruction of government towns and properties and head of cattle.
“The war between SPLM-IO led by Dr. Riek Machar against the government of South Sudan was not felt directly by the people of GPAA. Dr. Riek’s claims that he has his presence in GPAA is not true. The community totally reject it and we don’t want any edge of GPAA territory be given to SPLM-IO.
“In conclusion, we the communities of GPAA urge your presidency to response on this raised matter before the implementation of the proposed structure is effected. This is to let your administration aware of any consequent that may result into conflict between GPAA community and so called SPLM-IO.”
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