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Citizens describe worrying security conditions in the city
Three (3) gold prospectors were shot down and killed in the neighborhood of Kutum (North Darfur) on Saturday. They were driving approximately half an hour away from the city when gunmen suddenly opened fire. According to the only prospector who survived, he and his colleagues were heading towards the Mountains of Mari (north of the city) in search for gold when they were ambushed by gunmen on motorcycles. His three colleagues were killed; the driver’s hands were injured. The ambushers took 700,000 pounds (about 262,000 USD) from the dead. The survivor went back to the city to report the incident to the police while the driver sought treatment in the hospital. The names of the dead are Abdul Baki Ibrahim Safi, Mohammad Yousuf (both from Kordofan) and Mohamed Ibrahim from Hummaida, in the region of Kabkabiya. According to the witness, the police did not react before Sunday.
A similar incident happened Thursday when seven Gunmen opened fires on more than 15 people who were working in the gold-mine fieldsThe incident counts 3 dead and 8 injured. According to witnesses, the incident had happened very close to the police station, but no help came from the authorities. Witnesses describe the current security situation in Kutum as uncertain. “There is a proliferation of weapons used by groups in civilian clothes. We have asked the local authorities to provide security and disarm them,” Radio Dabanga was told.
Article source: http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/19883
Doctors suspect a measure to supress protests
According to reports from Nyala, the General Administration of the Ministry of Health in South Darfur issued a decision to transfer seven (7) doctors and public hospital workers arbitrarily to rural hospitals in the region. This measure apparently aims to suppress and silence the doctors who had carried out strikes recently to protest against the deterioration of their working conditions. A doctor told Radio Dabanga the administration would not tolerate further demands from their personnel, despite the doctors’ repeated calls for necessary equipment and funds. “The doctors healed patients for free, but this week-long initiative stopped on Sunday. This new measure came as a surprise,” a doctor told Radio Dabanga. The Health Committee of the Legislative Council apparently met with the Doctors’ Committee yesterday and listened to their pleas. They announced that an additional meeting was to be held on Monday to assess the situation.
Article source: http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/19884
By Ngor Arol Garang
October 16, 2011 (JUBA) – A Lakes state youth group on Saturday said it opposed voices calling on the central government to remove governor Chol Tong Mayay, describing the call as “illegal and unconstitutional”.
Daniel Machot Makuer, who identified himself as a member of the executive youth body of the SPLM – South Sudan’s ruling party – in the state, accused voices calling for removal of the state governor of confusing the ordinary citizens and the party leadership.
He claimed that the people agitating for his removal “were the very people who were campaigning for election of this governor. The same campaign agents and the same friends who were campaigning for him are the same people you find now sitting anywhere under trees and in open places here in Rumbek talking against the same governor they brought into power, why [are they] confusing people”, Makuer asked in an a telephone interview with Sudan Tribune from Rumbek, capital of Lakes State on Saturday.
Makuer said it is unconstitutional to demand removal of the elected governor without any national security threatening to warrant presidential intervention.
“People talking and calling for removal of the elected governor are not only confusing the general public but their calls contravene the transitional [constitution] of the Republic of South Sudan”, the youth leader told Sudan Tribune stating it that youth body rejects this position.
“As youth leaders, we reject this confusion”, he said
He accused former state political advisor, Dut Makoi and Brigadier General Amori Mathiang of inciting people in the state as well as pushing the central government to remove the state governor.
“There are people citing these voices calling for removal of the governor. We know them by names one by one [...] some of these people calling for the removal of the governor include senior military officers. Some of them have already started campaigning for themselves. I am told Brigadier General Amori Mathiang has held several meetings in Juba at central pub proposing himself for the position governorship”, he said
Dut Makoi, he said, referring to the former state political advisor, who resigned accusing the governor of undermining him and administrative failure to address insecurity in the area, “is also doing the same there in Juba. He is actually the one organising and sponsoring strikes carried out in the state here. He was the one sponsoring the recent strike by the students in which a lot of properties including computers in the ministry of education were destroyed”.
Attempts made by Sudan Tribune to contact Brigadier General Amori Mathiang and Dut Makoi failed.
Article 101 sections (r) and (s) of the Transitional Constitution of the republic of South Sudan allows only the president to remove and dissolve a state Legislative Assembly in the event of a crisis in the state that threatens national security and territorial integrity of South Sudan. It also allows him to appoint a state caretaker governor who shall prepare for elections within sixty days in the state where a governor has been removed or the state assembly lest it is dissolved in accordance with the interim constitution and the relevant state constitution and the law.
State authorities are reported to have arrested number of opponents and critics allegedly for establishing another parliament with a speaker and a spokesperson within the state. One politician Poundak Benjamin Makoi told Sudan Tribune that he has been in custody since he was arrested on 4 October for being a member of the self-established state parliament.
Makoi, and other members of the alternative parliament had written a letter written to the president of the government of South Sudan accusing state governor Chol of corruption and inability to govern the state.
“The governor we have is no more different with late Ugandan president Idi Amin. He does not tolerate criticism. He is running it like a personal property”, he said, claiming he remains under arrest.
The governor denies the charges and says he had to arrest the members of the alternative parliament because of the letter they sent to President Salva Kiir asking for him to be removed.
But Makoi said: “We were very open with our charges against state governor because there is massive corruption going on in the state while he is not taking action which means he is encouraging it”.
The self-established house further claimed that the arrest of its members was an attempt at scaring them from speaking against what is taking place in the state but that will not happen despite facing threats.
“We know what they are doing is to scar us from speaking against this corruption. They will not succeed. We will continue speaking out even if we are arrested”, he said.
He claimed that establishment of the “open” parliament was compatible to article 25 section (1) of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, which, according to him, allows formation of any group to talk against the state government if anything in the state is going wrong.
He also accused the governor of failure to construct the Rumbek-Yirol road despite UN funding. The objective of the open parliament was to fight corruption in the state, he said.
Makoi quoted article 46 of the state constitution which says fighting corruption is everyone’s responsibility.
He said that six members if the parliament including himself were currently in jail: Kundai Ben Makoi, Tong Malual Dhor, Majang Nhial and James Dit Apac.
Makoi said the house is made up of former state employees, especially those laid off from their work by the state administration without good reason, as well as students and members of the general public including the private sector. But the parliament as the name suggests remains open to anybody interested in debating public issues.
He said the groups main debate topics were corruption and ways to address tribal fighting as well cattle theft.