South Sudan traditional leaders participated during workshop in Northern Bahr el ghazal; Photo credit; UNMISS
At least 70 traditional chiefs have been demoted and 20 others left out as the ministry of local government efforts to reorganized the traditional chiefs administration that were created in the then defunct thirty-two states.
Official says the decision is to implement the presidential decree issued on February 14, 2020, which dissolved the administration of the defunct 32 states. The seventy chiefs that have been demoted on Wednesday to be sub-chiefs a position they previously held before the creation of the defunct 32 states and rest were left out.
Some Bomas in Awerial county that were promoted to payam level have also been affected, Nile payam created under the defunct state is downgraded to Boma bringing payam in Awerial to original six.
Some of the traditional chiefs who lost their seats to become sub-chiefs say they are contented with the exercise.
However, Sultan Joseph Achiek, who is one of those left out says he submitted a petition to the government for consideration to retain his previous position of sub-chiefs. “I am not angry with the government; changes are always there, but I am personally left out while I was the leader of the community before.”
Other sub-chiefs say they are still hopeful opportunity would come for them to get promoted as chiefs. “If the government has come up with the policy again, returning us to sub-chiefs, we are happy with it because the same government may promote us next time.”
The other chief says although he is demoted to sub-chief he is still the leader of the people because they were not taken away and he see nothing wrong in the administrative unit.
Hon. Benjamin Makuer Mabor is the minister of the local government in Lakes state. He pledged to resolve the issues that have been raised by the chiefs during the process. “We have written down all the complaints, and we are going to look into them, and those with a genuine claims will be granted their right,” he said.
Mr. Mabior said the number of chiefs in Awerial has returned to sixty-four which was the number before the creation of defunct states.
On Tuesday, the governor of Lakes state Rin Tueny Mabor promised to register members of local courts and add them to local government payroll to get wages.