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Melut, Maban agree on demilitarization of dispute area

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Abudhok Ayang Kur, the new Governor of Upper Nile State (SPLM -IO) - credit John Orag

The Commissioners of Melut and Maban Counties in Upper Nile state have agreed that the disputed Kilo Ashara area be demilitarized.

The deal is in line with a 2017 peace resolution.

This comes after fighting broke out early this month between their natives over ownership of the area.

The area situated east of Maban, and west of Melut is strategically located at the Adar oil field.

In 2017, the two communities clashed, prompting the government to form a committee to investigate the incident.

The committee led by Vice-President James Wani Igga at that time decided to make the disputed area a demilitarized zone.

It had recommended that Maban move back to Jamam area, while Melut community retracts to Kilo 20, and Longeichuk pulls back to the Bulgok area.

But fighting re-ignited in recent weeks in which several lives were lost, and hundreds of others displaced.

Yesterday, Vice President, Dr. James Wani Igga held a meeting between the Governor of Upper Nile, Bodhok Ayang, and the Commissioners of Maban and Melut over the matter.

According to governor Bodhok Anyang, the state has upheld the earlier resolutions.

“They [Melut and Maban] have decided that the area should be a demilitarized area. Some areas were identified by the former governor of Northern Upper Nile state at that time to be a buffer zone area,” said Governor Bodhok.

“Melut to be in Kilo 20, Maban to be in Jamam, and Longochuk to be at Wolbok,

“We as the state government have seconded it and met with the Vice President and we agreed that the same resolution should apply until there is a resolution from the Presidency.” 

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