Home | News    Monday 10 November 2014

Jonglei: GPAA urges government to fully implement agreement

November 9, 2014 (BOR) – Senior members of the Greater Pibor Adminstrative Area (GPAA) are calling on the South Sudanese government to fully implement the peace accord signed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, in May.

The GPAA leadership are currently in the capital, Juba, for consultations with the government on aspects of the agreement yet to be fully implemented.

The agreement between the South Sudanese and the SSDM-Cobra faction was signed in the presence of retired bishop Paride Taban, ending a four-year-long conflict in eastern Jonglei state.

“In terms of establishing the administration, the commissioners were appointed and sworn in and are now deployed to their counties,” the nominated deputy chief administrator for finance and administration, Joseph Lilimoy Agozi, told Sudan Tribune.

“Now we are in Juba to meet president (Salva Kiir) to check on some parts of the agreement which had not been implemented so that when we go back to Pibor, we will make sure that nothing will bring us back to Juba again,” he added.

The agreement, which was endorsed by parliament earlier this year, provides for the establishment of the GPAA, to be governed by a chief administrator whose status is equals to that of a governor.

Former rebel leader David Yau Yau was subsequently appointed chief administrator by president Kiir after being nominated by the SSDM-Cobra faction.

Lilimoy is among two deputies appointed by Yau Yau, the other being Apiu Ojulu Ojoto, who is to be in charge of services.

Yau Yau has already taken his oath in the presence of the president.

However, Lilimoy says there remains confusion about who the new deputies appointed by Yau Yau should appear before to take their oath of office.

GAPS IN IMPLEMENTATION

According to the agreement, the area will remain under the presidency for until a new, permanent constitution is drawn up.

As per the agreement, the GPAA will also have its own parliament, to be known as the Greater Pibor Area Council. A maximum of 42 members will for be appointed by the president according to the recommendations of the SSDM.

Lilimoy said the chief administrator had named the members of council from across the seven counties and is now waiting for the presidency to formally appoint them.

Funding delays are also hampering the full implementation of the agreement, according to Lilioy, who says the GPAA’s allocated budget of 680,000 South Sudanese pounds (SSP) had been approved nearly two months ago, but the funds had yet to be released.

Yet another concern is uncertainty over whether the GPAA budget from will come from the presidency or national ministry of finance.

“Since the budget was passed by the council of states three weeks ago, there is no money released until now. We don’t even know whether this money will come from the presidency or the ministry of finance. We will clarify this before we go back to Pibor,” said Lilimoy.

In line with the agreement, the GPAA is to have its own high courts, presided by judges appointed by the Chief Justice, while chiefs and traditional leaders will handle local cases.

A special development fund will also be set up to improve service delivery, as well as local road networks and infrastructure, with the view to bridging chronic underdevelopment in the Pibor area.

The local administration can also raise its own revenues by collecting taxes, such as on property, personal income or agricultural production.

PARTICIPATION AT ALL LEVELS

The agreement also provides for the SSDM to participate at all levels of governance in the country, including ministerial positions, the national assembly and as heads of commissions and other government institutions.

According to the Lilimoy, this provision has not yet been implemented and the administration is working to find feasible solutions to outstanding issues.

COMMISSIONERS SWORN IN

Meanwhile, in Pibor on 29 September, appointed commissioners took an oath before the chief administrator, facilitated by lawyers from the minister of justice.

Five counties from the former Pibor county and two from the former Pochalla county will now form the seven counties that Comprise the GPAA.

The following commissioners were appointed to head the seven counties:

- Kubal county (Gumuruk) – Akot Mazee
- Pibor county – Nakure Kalega
- Zertet county – James Aliyi
- Lekuangole county – Simon Ali
- Boma county – Beko Konyi
- Pochalla South – Omot Achau
- Pochalla North – Omot Ogul

(ST)