Home | Comment & Analysis    Monday 26 February 2007

Akol is accused but definitely not charged with wrongdoing


By Ohiyok D. Oduho

Feb 25, 2007 — Dr Lam Akol, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, is accused of backing Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) Maj-Gen. Gabriel Tanginya and the newly formed party, Modern Southern Party (MSP). Some Sudan people’s Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A) members and press reports have even proposed for his removal from the office of the foreign minister and that of SPLM’s INC as well as Member of Parliament in the GoNU. Others have even argued that the removal of accused public figures from their positions of responsibility is the practice in some countries. SPLM/A has formed a committee headed by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Kosti Manibe, to investigate Dr Akol

Well, it so appears that Dr Akol was not a favourite candidate in his current ministry. Otherwise, it is difficult to gauge the SPLM/A’s furry and that of its supporters towards Dr Akol. However, a question is essential, who nominated Dr Akol; was it SPLM/A or the NCP? It’s obvious that Dr Akol was nominated by the SPLM/A and the President of the Republic, who happens to be the Chairman of the NCP, appointed Dr Akol and the other SPLM/A members to their offices in GoNU.

If the SPLM/A has lost confidence in Dr Akol, it should recommend his removal and replacement by whoever they really want. Although the SPLM/A ought to know that whoever they will file to replace Dr Akol would not do any better than Dr Akol. This is not to say that there are no cadres in the SPLM/A who are as capable as Dr Akol. They are there, but if the furry against Dr Akol is for the promotion of the GoNU foreign policies, then whomever they will appoint to replace Dr Akol will not be able to perform any better. It would be very difficult, for whomever the SPLM/A nominates in Dr Akol’s position to pursue any work within his ministry since whatever he would embark on in the ministry would be nothing but the promotion of the GoNU foreign policies, something most SPLM/A senior officials and members believe SPLM/A should have nothing to do with them.

Dr Akol is accused but definitely not charged with wrongdoing, as such trying to force him to resign; citing how foreigners deal with their problems, would not help the South and the country as whole. We should deal with our situations as Sudanese and with less foreign pressures. Foreign pressures, mostly based on the values of those countries exerting the pressures, may not necessarily make any sense to the Sudanese people.

However, let the Manibe committee investigate Dr Akol, and based on all the evidences the committee would find incriminating Dr Akol, a decision should then be taken. Nevertheless, if Dr Akol is forced to resign now as some people are insinuating, then one is tempted to say that such a pressure would be against Dr Akol’s human rights, a value cherished by the cited foreign powers.

Nonetheless, it’s important to investigate any allegations against any South Sudanese, be he in GoSS, GoNU, the States governments or any ordinary South Sudanese, but trying to give alternatives like “X” and “Y” must be removed for investigations to take place fairly is unfair by itself. This truly is so because allegations, accusations and counter accusations are not hard facts and to act without hard facts amounts to promoting lack respect to the rule of law.

* The author is a columnist with Sudan Vision Daily. He can be reached on ohiyok@yahoo.co.uk

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