Government offices unoccupied in parts of EES

Government offices unoccupied in parts of EES
A view of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (Photo by Reuters)

Some government offices in Eastern Equatoria State still lack the officials to run their activities after those who were employed in such positions escaped to the camps in neighbouring countries when the country plunged into civil war in 2013 and 2016.

Insecurity caused by the conflict in areas that were deserted by the members of communities rendered government offices non-functional after employees ran for safety.

Speaking to The City Review on Monday in a telephone conversation, the head of the Eastern Equatoria State Parliamentary Caucus and a legislator for Pageri Payam in Magwi County, Julius Miolinga, said government employees who were assigned to run government institutions were yet to return.

“So some of these offices are very redundant because the manpower is lacking because those who are to fill them are not here,’’ he said.

The lawmaker said peace needs to be restored there to allow people to settle back in their respective places of origin.

He stressed that resettlement of people in their villages will strengthen the administration of the state, allowing it to identify the strength of the people with expertise and address unemployment in the state.

“There are many people in the camps who ran but they were employees of the government. Once they are there, they will go back to their jobs, and the skills needed by the government will be restored. The labour force will also be increased.” So you can expect efficiency in the administration of the state,” he said.

Mr Miolinga said there are a lot of dividends that peace can bring, especially in the rebuilding phase.

“Once our area is peaceful, stable, progressive, and economically viable, you expect the whole country to also be doing well. Therefore, the state can also strive for the welfare of our area,” said the lawmaker.

Potential is there

“You know, our area is one of the most potential areas in terms of agriculture, wildlife, and hydropower. If all of it is constructed, it can supply power to the whole of South Sudan. “Our area is not just geographically devoid of many things customs are there, it is an entry point, and it is one of the largest hard currency arenas in the country Nimule border is known very much for that,” he added.

This formed the basis of the discussion at the recently concluded Eastern Equatoria political leader’s conference in Torit which the area governor, Louis Lobong, chaired.  

Among the resolutions were calls for an end to the sporadic inter and intra village conflicts, the removal of cattle keepers from Magwi County to return to their places of origin, and the deployment of the police to take up the security responsibility in the area. They also agreed on the repatriation of refugees, among other resolutions for the peaceful co-existence of communities.

Miolinga said if all the resolutions of the conference are implemented, it will pave the way for the state to develop and allow for the return of refugees who escaped to neighbouring countries in the state.

He said the conference also resolved that SSPDF forces who were deployed in Pageri Payam be withdrawn from the area and replaced by police to protect civilians in the area and create a conducive environment for the return of people from refugee camps.

“One of the resolutions in our meeting is that some of these divisions along Acuwa and Jelei be withdrawn from there and taken elsewhere. We don’t want any disturbance in Magwi generally or in Eastern Equatoria State,” he said.