August 10, 2013 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s former Vice-president, Riek Machar, has submitted his testimony to the parliament’s Select Committee which investigates the qualifications and experiences of the newly appointed justice minister, Telar Ring Deng, as his vetting becomes problematic.
The newly appointed South Sudan’s minister of justice, Telar Ring Deng (Photo Moses Lomayat)
The parliament rejected the endorsement of the appointment of Telar Ring Deng as justice minister during this week’s vetting sessions of the new cabinet appointed by the president of the republic, Salva Kiir Mayardit.
The committee questioned Telar’s claimed qualifications and experiences and further conducted a background check on him.
Telar in his submission to the Select Committee said he was a law graduate and that he served as a judge since 1985 in the SPLA rebels controlled areas in Western Upper Nile under the command of the then SPLA Major, Riek Machar.
In a written testimony on Saturday, 10th August 2013, addressed to the Chairperson of the Select Committee for Vetting Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Hon. Abuk Papiti Ayik, Machar confirmed that he deployed Telar under his command as a judge from 1986-1992 with the assumption that he was a qualified lawyer following a directive from late John Garang de Mabior who recommended Telar to Western Upper Nile Zonal area.
The former vice-president explained in the testimony that after his return to Western Upper Nile and in the event of the liberation of Leer and Adok Bahr in March 1986, he had to divide the area into two judicial sectors in which he deployed two judges including Telar.
“I deployed Major Dengtiel Ayuen Kur as a judge for the northern sector of the zone covering the current area of Mayom, Abiemnom, Rubkotni, Guit and Pariang counties. He was seated in Bilbar. This area was more judicially problematic. On the other hand, I deployed Captain Telar Ring Deng as a Judge for southern sector covering the area of the current Koch, Leer, Mayiandit and Payinjar counties. He was seated in Leer”, Machar further explained to the Select Committee.
He said he was briefed in 1985 by late John Garang who told him that the two were lawyers and were to assist him with judicial work. Telar was a first Lieutenant by then before he was promoted to the rank of captain in 1986.
“I was told that 1st Lt. Telar Ring Deng was a law graduate”, he said.
Machar further said the two judges were served with the SPLA Disciplinary Laws and the Western Nuer Customary Law as references for their work.
Telar however argued in his submission to the parliament that even those who were not qualified lawyers were sometimes making judicial decisions as judges in the liberated areas according to their seniority in the SPLA and had to rule over criminal or civil cases.
For instance, he said the former Vice-president and deputy chairman of the SPLM, Riek Machar, his boss in mid 1980s, had to reverse a ruling which in those days sentenced to death the current SPLA director of information and public relations, Brig. Gen. Malaak Ayuen Ajok, despite that Machar was not a lawyer.
Machar had to review and dismiss the charges as not carrying a death penalty of Malaak who was under his command in Western Upper Nile Zonal area by then.
Telar’s academic credentials, released several days after the parliament’s rejection to endorse his appointment, show he is holder of a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York in December 1981, also he has a Master of Law from the University of Buckingham in UK.
The parliament is expected to hear a final report from the Select Committee on Monday on their findings about the appointed justice minister.
Telar was also removed from his other portfolio as presidential advisor on legal affairs after the SPLM caucus advised president Kiir about the abnormality of holding the two positions as minister and advisor.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article47611
August 8, 2013 (CANBERRA) – South Sudanese-born Australian Paul Mabior Garang has received national recognition for his dedicated work with Australia’s South Sudanese community.
Paul Mabior Garang receiving his award at Parliament House in the Australian capital Canberra on 27 July
Garang received the Community Leader of the Year award at a gala dinner at Parliament House in the Australian capital Canberra on 27 July.
Garang was recognised as part of the annual Celebration of African Australians National Awards, which aims to showcase the contributions that African-Australian communities bring to Australian life.
He was among 100 African-Australians to receive awards at the event.
Garang’s work in Australia’s South Sudanese community was also recognised in 2011, when he became the first African-Australian winner of the Queensland state minister’s Multicultural Encouragement Award.
Garang was among the 20,000 ‘lost boys’ of Sudan, who were forced to flee their homes when Sudanese government troops attacked southern villages in 1983.
His story of hardship was among 10 included in ’Walking to Freedom’ – the first book of South Sudanese refugee stories which was later read out in the Queensland state parliament.
Garang currently works for the Queensland African Communities Council and is actively involved in youth programs supporting African-Australians.
Garang returned to South Sudan last Christmas, where he served in the South Sudanese army (SPLA) from 1989 to 1991 as part of logistical stores department in Dr Garang’s headquarters.
The department was responsible for maintaining SPLA supplies later destined for military training centres and conflict zones such as Bonga, Bilpam, Dima, Boma, Reet and Panyidu.
Garang is now based in the south-east Queensland city of Toowoomba, where he is combining his community work with South Sudanese youth while studying for his Master’s degree.
Australia’s minister for multicultural affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, said the awards recognised the artistic, sporting, economic, political and community contributions African Australians make to the growth and prosperity of Australian society.
“Occasions such as this provide an opportunity for the wider community to understand and celebrate first-hand the contributions and achievements of African Australians”, Lundy said.
The event was attended by prime minister Kevin Rudd and other high level dignitaries, as well as business leaders, international ambassadors and representatives from service organisations.
According to the 2011 census, 337,881 African-born people live in Australia; an increase of about 20 per cent from the 2006 figure.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article47589
By Bonifacio Taban Kuich
August 6, 2013 (BENTIU) – A South Sudan army (SPLA) official has accused northern forces of allegedly shooting its patrol soldiers at disputed border area between the two countries.
The clash, according to Unity state’s fourth division commander, occurred after his forces witnessed their northern counterparts allegedly digging up more oil wells in Tachuin, a disputed area on Monday.
“The incident occurred when a group of SPLA soldiers accessed the buffer zone areas, which were used by Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) to drill fresh oil wells, resulting into unilateral fire exchange between the two armies,” James Koang Chuol told Sudan Tribune Tuesday.
He accused the northern army of violation provisions of the the security agreements reached between both countries.
“We have for quite a long time been peaceful at the border, it was only yesterday when the incident occurred, but [the] situation is normal,” he said.
“We cannot attack SAF with only six soldiers while patrolling,” he added.
The army official, however, stressed that the confrontation between the two armies was “accidental” and not “intentional”, but blamed SAF for what occurred.
The incident came a day after a joint border verification monitoring team from the African Union and the SPLA visited Unity state to brief the governor on a proposed map demanding that both side withdraw their troops at least 10-km from the buffer zone.
The proposal, according to Chuol, will help reduce more tension at the border between the two countries.
“What we are trying do is to have peaceful coexistent between the two army forces to withdraw and create a buffer zone at the border, so that we have peace along our borders,” he said.
Al-Sawarmi Khaled, the spokesperson for SAF said limited clashes occurred with the SPLA in Heglig near the border between the two countries on Monday.
The incident, he told SUNA, took place when the SPLA patrol got few kilometres inside the Sudanese area of Heglig, an oil producing area not far from the border between South Kordofan and Unity state.
He added that a Sudanese soldier was killed and two others injured while the SPLA patrol pulled back to South Sudan.
In April 2012, the South Sudanese army seized the oil producing area during 10 days before to withdraw its troops under international pressure preventing a return to all-out war between the two sides.
Heglig or Panthou, which is located at 23 km from Unity state, is claimed by the South Sudan but the African Union mediation refused to include it in the disputed areas.
The two countries reconfirmed recently their commitment to deploy joint patrols to monitor the border and to establish a demilitarized zone on the disputed areas.
They also vowed to stop supporting rebel groups from both sides and to open 10 crossing points on the border to facilitate the movement of people and goods between the two sides.
Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article47569