Members of the Pari community at a meeting with the Eastern Equatoria State Governor Louis Lobong Lojore.[Gurtong/ Peter Lokale Nakimangole]
By Peter Lokale Nakimangole
TORIT, 24 June 2012 [Gurtong] – Members of the Lafon community have petitioned the state government to reverse the decision to name Lafon County as Lafon/Lopa.
The two predominant communities in the county, the Lopit and Pari, have never agreed on the name of their country since its establishment by the late SPLM founder Dr John Garang.
The Pari Community has strongly opposed the naming and persistently petitioned the State Government to re-adopt and respect the original name of the county as per a decree of 5 May 2004 that established Lafon County with its headquarters at Lafon.
Despite the existence of the Tenet ethnic community, one of the smallest in the state, the contested county’s name has been derived from the dominant groups in the county.
A member of parliament in the Eastern Equatoria State Legislative Assembly who hails from the Pari community Charles Udwar said the decision should be reviewed and reversed immediately.
Udwar told Gurtong that in 2005, the Pari also reversed the decree’s appointment of their former County Commissioner Luka Aribo by asking the then Vice President of the Republic of Sudan and the President of the of Southern Sudan General Salva Kiir Mayardit to re-appoint a new Commissioner.
Part of a recent undated petition letter from the Pari youth and addressed to the State Governor says any community that is uncomfortable with the county name Lafon and its headquarters at Lafon ‘’has the right to either remain peacefully within the single county or opt-out peacefully to join another county”.
He said by so doing, the statement added, the communities will be addressing efforts to mitigate further conflict and confrontation and to ensure that peace prevails among the locals.