Sudan Tribune

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N. Bahr el Ghazal governor holds consultative meetings on new cabinet

August 11, 2013 (JUBA) – The governor of South Sudan’s border state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Paul Malong Awan, is carrying out consultative meeting with representatives from institutions at both local and national level to help him form a new cabinet, his office said on Sunday.

The governor will announce the new line-up “soon”, said the source, without giving the exact date.

The aide, who did not want to be named, said governor Awan is currently visiting Juba in order to consult with president Salva Kiir, members of parliament and other officials at the national secretariat of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

Awan is seeking their views on how the new cabinet should be restructured in compliance with the directives of the president to reduce size of the state governments as part of measures to save funds to support developmental projects.

The source told Sudan Tribune that Awan would also brief the president on the general situation in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, particularly security and political issues.

He denied rumours that the governor plans to reduce the size of the state cabinet because some ministers had recently shown “unfaithfulness” by going against his own proposals and wishes.

“It is not true that the new cabinet is going to be reduced to settle political issues … but it is necessitated by the current economic situation. This was why the president decided to reduce the size of the national government and asked the governors to do the same. This is what I know so far. I am not aware of these disputes regarding loyalty with some ministers in the state but it is normal for the governor to make some changes”, the source said.

According to the source, some ministries and commissions will be merged and their functions integrated into others. Those most likely to be affected include the ministry of water and rural development, ministry of trade and industry; ministry of animal resources and the ministry parliamentary affairs.


Officials claim the merging of ministries and commissions would be another way to improve efficiency, reduce duplications of similar functions and save funds.

The source said the idea of merging some ministries and commissions had received public support both in the state and in Juba, where discussions have been held on the proposal at various forums.

“There has been general feelings that ministry of water and rural development should have been a directorate within the ministry of physical infrastructure. Similar proposals have also been made for the commission of teachers. They say it should have a department with the ministry of education. The ministry of animal resources should have been a directorate within the ministry of agriculture and forestry. The ministry of trade and industry should also have been a department within the ministry of finance. This is what people say and the governor has taken note of these views and [these will be] shared [with] the parliament when he is addressing the house on Monday”, he said.

However, critics of the governor see moves to reduce the size of the cabinet as a pretext for Awan to rid himself those who have shown disloyalty within his administration, while others argue Awan is seeking revenge against a leader clamping down on corruption.


A separate source, who did not want to be identified, told Sudan Tribune the governor had been unhappy with the conduct of some of his cabinet ministers who he felt had been trying to undermine his decisions.

According to the official, one cabinet minister is alleged to have gone to the office of the president with some friends to nominate Kuel Aguer Kuel for a national ministerial posting, despite the governor already submitting Ruay Deng Maker’s name for consideration.

This same minister is accused of being an ally of SPLM secretary-general Pagan Amum.

“He (the governor) is not happy with him and will definitely fire him (the minister) this time from the cabinet. This is one of the issues he came to sort out with the office of the president and this group”, the source said on Sunday.

The official claimed those lobbying for ministerial appointment in the office of the president include Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol, Andrew Akoon Akech, Deng Deng Hoc Yai, Kuel Aguer Kuel and Ronald Ruay Deng Dut, also known as Ruay Deng Maker.

He claimed majority of the people, including elders, intellectual and business groups, supported nominating Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol as a candidate, however, the governor and his backers had shown preference for Ruay to be considered as a minister in the office of the president.

“There is currently strong competition between the two camps. The governor is seriously lobbying support to back his bid seeking the president to appoint his hand-picked [candidate] and the intellectuals are also pushing very hard to see that [the] president appoints Dhieu Mathok. They (intellectuals) are arguing that Dhieu has more political experience and academic qualifications which would be beneficial to the president than any other aspiring candidates”, the source said.


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Ethiopian military plane crashes at Somali airport

August 10, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – An Ethiopian Air force plane on Friday crash landed at Mogadishu airport in Somalia, where thousands of Ethiopian forces are helping the country in the battle against al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab insurgents.

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said four of the six crew members, including two senior pilots on board, were killed in the incident.

AMISOM said the military plane which was carrying logistical support to African Union (AU) peacekeepers in the region “burst into flames immediately on crashing”.

The Ethiopian military cargo plane reportedly missed the runway before crash landing at Somalia’s international airport, where many military aircraft carrying supplies for AU peacekeeping forces land daily.

AMISOM firefighters helped to extinguish the fire at the airport.

The exact cause of the accident remains unclear, with the Somali government to launch an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash.

The Ethiopian government has yet to issue an official statement on the incident.
Military officials in Ethiopia also refused Sudan Tribune’s requests for comment.

There are unconfirmed reports that the Soviet-made Antonov 24 plane had been carrying ammunitions.

Ethiopia first deployed its troops inside war-ravaged Somalia in 2011 to help the weak Somali government forces defeat the Islamist insurgent group, al Shabaab which was in control to many parts of the country.


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Twic East attack kills seven, say Jonglei officials

August 8, 2013 (BOR) – Gunmen killed at least seven people and stole hundreds of cows on Thursday in an attack in Twic East county in South Sudan’s troubled state of Jonglei, officials and witnesses told Sudan Tribune.

PNG - 26.3 kbMap showing location of Jonglei state in South Sudan.

Joshua Madit, the acting commissioner of Twic East county, said the attack occurred at about 6pm when pastoralists were gathering their animals in Alilei cattle camp in Maar Payam [district].

“Details are just coming in but I am told six people are killed,” said Madit who declined to provide the identities of the dead. The commissioner said the stolen cows were driven towards the east of Jonglei, where South Sudan’s army is fighting insurgents in Pibor county.

Officials blamed Murle tribesmen of carrying out the attack but this could not be independently confirmed but witnesses claimed one attacker was killed and identified as a Murle.

An eyewitness put the death toll at seven, a figure confirmed by Deng Dau, who represents Twic East county in South Sudan’s national assembly in Juba.

“A group of uniformed [men], armed with heavy machinery, killed seven people,” Dau told Sudan Tribune by phone from Juba. He said two of the dead are from neighbouring Jalle payam of Bor county and five from Maar of Twic East county.

The motive of the attack was to kill people and take away the cattle, he said, adding that there is little hope to arrest the attackers or rescue the raided cattle due to heavy rains that had caused flooding and cut off most of villages from Jonglei’s capital Bor.

“There is a question of mobility,” in terms of the police and army being able to respond to such incidents, according to the MP.

Jonglei has experienced increasing cattle raiding and retaliatory attacks between rival ethnic groups since South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011.

South Sudan officials say is aggravated by weapons left over from the civil war that ended in 2005 but also accuse neighbouring Sudan of supply arms to David Yauyau’s rebellion. An allegation denied by Khartoum.

A state-wide disarmament campaign was launched by South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir in March 2012 but the effort has been marred by allegations of human rights abuses and, despite claims of some early successes, many groups have avoided handing over their weapons.

Yauyau’s rebellion, which is based in Pibor county, has complicated the recurring tribal tensions in the state. Last month a group of thousands of Luo Nuer men from neighbouring counties attacked areas of Pibor in response, they said, to repeated Murle raids on their territory.

In the last few months rebel groups in Unity and Upper Nile state have accepted president Kiir’s offer of an amnesty but Yauyau, who previously accepted an amnesty but returned to the bush to restart his rebellion in 2011, has asked that the United Nations act as mediators. The international community and religious leaders are currently trying to to restart peace negotiations.

“All the peace loving people have been asked to accept [the presidential] amnesty. But the rebels are still attacking innocent civilians. If the UN is interested (in bringing peace to Jonglei state), then they should be persuading these outlaws who are trying to destabilize the area,” Dau said when asked if the recent raid would jeopardise efforts to bring peace to Jonglei.


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