Dr. Lam's NDM questions Malakal boundary review
In a press statement signed by Dr Lam Akol and released by the National Democratic Movement, questions have been raised as to the government's decision to move the capital of Malakal County to Wau Chollo.
Malakal town is located in central Malakal Payam, and is currently the capital of both the synonymous county and Upper Nile state. Originally located in Eastern Nile state, Malakal became capital of Upper Nile after the introduction of the 10 state agreement in early 2020.
Dr Lam has asserted that recent attempts by the government to change the civic status of Malakal town was unconstitutional, and in transgression of the Revitalised Peace Agreement.
'The Minister [of Cabinet Affairs] did not quote the article of the Upper Nile state Constitution or an article of the Revitalised Peace Agreement which gives him and those that were meeting the authority to decide on such a constitutional matter', Lam wrote.
Citing the Establishment Order issued by Dr John Garang in 2004, the NDM argue that Malakal County is explicitly stated to be composed of Malakal town and the two chieftaincies of Lelo and Ogod.
'We are not aware of a "Wurjwork" payam', Lam has said, questioning what has changed in the makeup of the county to justify moving the capital. On this basis, the statement ends with a strong condemnation of those seeking to alter the civic boundaries of the area.
'This decision is not based on the Constitution of the Upper Nile state nor the Revitalised Peace Agreement. The procedures for amending these legal documents are clear and have not been followed. The few persons who arrogated to themselves the right to take this decision should inform the public about the legal basis of their action. Otherwise, it will be considered yet another gimmick to serve narrow interests', says the statement.
This is not the first time in recent history that Lam has intervened in the affairs of Upper Nile state. Earlier this year, he publicly questioned the membership and the agenda of a govneremnt committee formed to rectify violence in the region.