8th April 2020
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Tonj condemned, told to reverse Wau ‘land grabbing’ decision

Author: Deng Dimo | Published: Monday, October 7, 2019

A civil society organization has condemned Tonj State authorities’ move to create two payams in a disputed area between Wau and Tonj states.

On September 30, Tonj County Commissioner Joseph Anei Madoor declared Kapara and Ikana in Alur County as payams under Tonj State.

The commissioner’s order changed the name of Kapara to Bab-Cok and Ikan to Wargiir.

According to the Greater Bahr el Ghazal Land Alliance, the two areas are along the boundary that separates the former Warrap and Western Bahr el Ghazal states based on 1956 border demarcation.

In April, the governors of Wau and Tonj states reportedly hit a deadlock over whose flag should fly in the area while receiving President Salva Kiir during his tour of the Greater Bahr el Ghazal Region.

The President then allegedly told the two governors to suspend any disagreement over boundaries as the country pursues lasting peace.

As a result, the determination of the boundaries between Wau, Tonj and Gogrial was referred to the Independent Boundaries Commission, a body formed by the revitalized peace agreement.

However, the Commissioner Tonj County “went ahead by creating two payams which are under Alur county Wau state” without the resolution from the IBC.

“We are calling on Tonj state government to revise it decision of creating these two payams within Wau state,” Alfred Angok Uliny, executive director.

The Independent Boundaries Commission was established by the Revitalized Peace Agreement to consider the number of States, their boundaries and the composition and restructuring of the Council of States.

The parties are yet to agree on the findings of the IBC.

As per the laws of South Sudan, county commissioners do not have any power to determine a state, county or payam where an area falls under nor do they have any mandate to create payams.

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