New Unity cabinet swears to protect residents

30 Apr 2012

New Unity cabinet swears to protect residents

27 April 2012 - Newly appointed state officials of South Sudan's Unity State, which has recently suffered through several bombing raids, pledged today in the capital Bentiu to protect and unify residents.

The swearing in ceremony included 15 ministers, six advisors and nine county commissioners. They were appointed on 24 April by Governor Lt. Gen. Taban Deng Gai, in line with the state's transitional constitution.

During their oaths, which were administered by State Chief Justice Chol Malek Chol, inductees solemnly promised to be faithful and strive for the development as well as welfare of state residents.

Also present was South Sudan Council of State Speaker Joseph Chol Chan, who urged officials to serve people well.

"Give your people peace and physical security," said Speaker Chan. "Unite them. They need unity. Make them resourceful to develop Unity State and South Sudan."

He also called on other political parties to join hands for the common defense of the country.

Governor Gai challenged officials to meet the needs of people they would serve. "You are a cabinet to manage crisis, as you have come to government during the time of crisis."

Parts of Bentiu have recently been bombarded by Sudanese forces in what has been an on-going border conflict with South Sudan.

Governor Gai urged the sworn-in officials to promote other forms of revenue generation, as Unity State had lost 90 per cent of its revenue due to a stoppage in oil production.

"Be creative and productive," the governor said. "Create non-oil revenues. Your people depend on you to excel. The resources of South Sudan are its people and the land not oil."

South Sudan shut down its oil production in January after accusing Sudan, which owns the only pipelines for transporting the crude, of stealing its oil.

Members from the international community, including UNMISS, attended the ceremony.