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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

Local community leaders in Lakes State protest reception of new county commissioner

By Manyang Mayom

September 6, 2010 (RUMBEK) – The reception ceremony of the newly appointed commissioner of Awerial County in Lakes State, David Mayom Riak, has been publicly protested by local community leaders in four villages in the county.

On Sunday, 5 August, local community leaders in the villages of Bunagok, Alel, Abuyum and Dhor stood along the roadside during Manyom’s welcoming reception, holding placards saying “Big No to David Mayom Riak commissionership in Awerial County.”

David Mayom was appointed to his position on August 17 by the governor of Lakes state, Chol Tong Mayay.

Protesting community leaders claimed that the distribution of power in the region was imbalanced due to the fact that the majority of state dignitaries hail from the same village. Those are state Governor Chol Tong, the Lakes State Deputy Speaker, the SPLM County Secretary, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and a Member of the National Parliament in Khartoum.

However, Lakes State Governor Chol Tong Mayay said that the people of Awerial community had no problem with their commissioner, accusing Awerial politicians of complicating the situation. He insisted that local community leaders should accept Mayom as commissioner.

In his maiden policy speech to parliament earlier this week, Manyom outlined plans to construct new schools and roads in the grossly underdeveloped county.

Awerial County has as history of volatility. In November 2009, 47 people were killed and 16 others were injured in clashes between the Dinka and Mundari ethnic groups.