Opposition group, Lou-Nuer community condemns Machar’s land transfer order

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A South Sudan opposition groups has condemned and criticized a decision by prominent South Sudan opposition and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon to transfer administration of a Lou-Nuer territory of Bieh state to Jonglei state saying the move is unjustifiable.

Machar on Tuesday issued an executive order restructuring Cheijaak counties extending the number from three to four. Based on the new division, the Chiengjaak will now consist of Pieri, Wuror, Padik and Panyang counties.

Pieri, Wuror and Padik counties will remain in Bieh state while Panyang County, with its capital Pajut, will now be a Jonglei state territory.

In further execution of the order, Machar on Wednesday – one day after he restructured the Lou-Nuer territory – appointed Simon Tang Lam as the commissioner of the newly created Panyang County which has been transferred to Jonglei state.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the leader of the South Sudan National Movement (SSNM) Chuar Juet Jock said the move by the First Vice President designate is unjustifiable and that Machar has no right to give away their land.

“Nothing should justify giving Panyang away at this juncture nor does Mr. Machar has any powers to give Panyang away as a bribe,” leader of the diaspora based opposition movement said in a statement seen by the Nyamilepedia.

The statement further accused Machar of creating another atmosphere of death and killing between the Dinka community of Bor and the Lou-Nuer similar to that of 1991 conflict.

“Riek Machar simply was creating another 1991, pitting Lou Nuer against Dinka Bor,” he added.

For his part, the Lou-Nuer community in the Arab Republic of Egypt condemned the move saying it violates South Sudan’s constitution which the community said gave the ownership of the land to the people.

“We condemn the order by the Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM-IO giving away these areas to Jonglei state while he is aware that these areas belong to the Lou-Nuer community,” Duoth Paul Thichuong, Chairman of the Lou-Nuer community in Egypt said in a statement seen by the Nyamilepedia.

“This order also violates the South Sudan constitution which gives the ownership of land to the people and not the government,” he added.

He urged Machar to reconsider the order so as avoid possible bloodshed between the Lou-Nuer and the Dinka Bor community.

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