February 2, 2014[YIROL WEST] — Commissioner of Awerial Andrew Ayiu was removed on Friday by Governor Matur Chut Dhuol, who also issued a decree appointing a successor.
Ayiu was the county’s chief executive only since October last year. His removal follows clashes with rebels at Kalthok village on 22 December, which prompted the evacuation of aid workers from the nearby humanitarian hub at Mingkamen.
The aid workers left by road to neighboring Yirol West County where some were threatened at gunpoint the following morning while discussing boarding evacuation helicopters to take them to Juba.
State officials apparently did not want the aid workers to leave but rather to return to Awerial County. The incident drew strong negative reaction from humanitarian and diplomatic officials in Juba, who say that such emergency evacuations should not be obstructed.
The governor’s new appointee for the commissionership, Deng Tong Kenjok, was expected to be sworn in at the headquarters in Yirol West County.
Food for the troops
The opposition troops involved in the fighting in Awerial County were later allowed safe passage into Unity State, a Lakes official disclosed, on condition that they not attack anyone on their way.
Yirol West County has now temporarily become the seat of the state government, since Governor Matur Chut Dhuol encamped there in order to better monitor operations against the opposition forces.
In another act on Thursday, the state headquarters instructed county and payam officials to mobilize food for the army from civilians in Yirol West County.
Each family is requested to donate one tin of groundnut and one tin of sorghum for a total of two tins per household.
Some residents and local officials have objected to the order, saying the army should be provisioned from its headquarters in Juba, not from the populace.
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