August 8, 2012 (JUBA) - Wau county commissioner has issued administrative orders banning the sale of alcoholic drinks in residential areas within the territorial jurisdiction of Wau town, officials said on Tuesday.
- A motorcycle taxi delivers beer to one of the thousands of local bars in the south Sudan capital Juba, March 18, 2009 (Reuters)
Speaking in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Tuesday, Wau County commissioner, John Peter Miskin said they have closed down all illegal bars operating in residential areas. Miskin made the announcement after residents complained that people were illegally turning their homes into drinking places, resulting in noise and criminal behaviour.
Wau town is the administrative headquarters of Wau county and the capital of Western Bahr el Ghazal state.
It has two county commissioners with one being commissioner for the state headquarters and the other taking position of the area commissioner. While their appointment defines their duties, clarification on their responsibilities and jurisdiction is still required.
Officials at the state headquarters identify themselves as responsible for affairs relating or happening within a territory under state capital.
Some officials at the county level see it as encroachment to their territorial administration.
Miskin said his administration launched an operation to screen all drinking establishments and shut down those operating without licenses.
"People are always coming to us with complaints about people selling beer in residential areas. This is encouraging crimes and diminishing cultures and traditions of our people,” said Miskin.
He dismissed accusations that he intends to implement Sharia law in the state in the secular nation of South Sudan.
He said that the decision was a response to public demands and that “they are built as living areas and if owners decide to rent them out to start selling alcohol it must be organised otherwise we will accept other residents to disturb others. This is why we have started a plan to deal with that,” he explained.