Talks Over Wau County Disputes End Without Agreement

Government officials from the office of Western Bahr-el-Ghazal State’ Governor on Monday met with the local community representatives of Wau County over the dispute of the proposed relocation of the county head quarters.

Talks Over Wau County Disputes End Without Agreement
The State Peace and Reconciliation Advisor Efisio Kon Uguak speaking during the talks in Wau. [James Deng Dimo]

By James Deng Demo

WAU-07. Nov. 2012 [Gurtong] -The meeting was graced by the Minister of Public Service Roghia Madut Ujuok. He was accompanied by the advisor for Peace and Reconciliation, Efisio Kon Uguak, Security advisor, Rizik Dominic Samuel, Gender advisor Monica Louis Mawein and Essential Service advisor Livio Bari.
The Wau County community representatives were led by James Joseph Wieu.

The talks mediated by ruling party, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) at the State Secretariat was aimed at  explaining to the local community of Wau the powers of state government to transfer county headquarters as enshrined in the transitional constitution of South Sudan.

The state government blames Wau community for inciting the one month long protest following orders to relocate the county headquarters.
Wieu said that Wau county community is neither opposing the constitution nor the vision of SPLM but the state should have consulted the community on the relocation plans.

The four hour long meeting ended without agreement reached despite the call last weekend by the SPLM State Secretary Paulino Adam Nora to end the ongoing community protests.

“It is a misunderstanding between the state government and the local community due to government’s misuse of the constitution against the local people,” said Wieu.

“We as the Wau county community rejected the proposal of the state government to use its ministers and advisors who are at the same time telling the government not to listen to our grievances. Wau County’s problem only belongs to Wau, therefore the state government should avoid linking it to tribal line,” he added.
Wieu urged the state government to stop mobilizing Dinka and Luo tribes from Jur River County as shields to prevent them from demonstrating their rights. 

Officials from both sides walked out without any agreements reached. However, Efisio Kon Uguak said next round talks would take place in week at the Council of Ministers Peace Hall.

He said only explaining the constitution and the importance of taking county headquarters to rural areas will end the stalemate.  

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