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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

New faces of Lakes state cabinet arrive in Rumbek

By Manyang Mayom

June 3, 2009 (RUMBEK) – Large numbers of people of Rumbek neighborhood gathered at the airstrip to welcome David Nok Marial Buot, the new deputy governor with his colleagues who are expected to work in the state government which has been troubled with inter-clan violence and power struggling conflict since the signing of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005.

The newly reappointed David Nok Marial Buot arrived to Rumbek, the capital of Lakes state, on Thursday early morning with new appointees Maj-General Maciek Akuocpir Cyer, Advisor for Security, Andrea Mabor Biar, Advisor for Peace and Reconciliation and Gordon Matot Tut, Minister of Finance.

These officials were selected by the region’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit as part of a government reshuffle, but they have yet to be sworn into office.

Nok is replacing the loyal deputy governor and minister of local government and law reinforcement agency, Awan Guol Riak, who had worked too under former governor John Lat Zechariah between 2005 and 2006 as security advisor. Riak was promoted to minister in 2007 and in fact he became perhaps the most loyal minister of Governor Daniel Awet Akot.

However, Nok has been residing in Juba, the capital of the semi-autonomous Southern Sudan government, since his surprise removal came in 2007 after a falling out with current governor Daniel Awet Akot. The removal occurred while Nok was meeting with Sudanese President Omer Al-Bashir in Khartoum regarding Rumbek University.

According to an NCP source, Dr. Parmena Marial Akuocpir, state Minister of Health, was relieved by presidential decree and the position is now empty. The source added that NCP is going to take over that ministerial post and will run it with satisfying services.

Some in Rumbek observe that the National Congress Party (NCP) in Lakes state has been operating ‘underground’ without an officially opened office. In 2007 the NCP members in Rumbek rented an office space at Malakaia residential area and invited state Governor Daniel Awet Akot to open the office officially but Awet rejected the invitation without offering reason.

According to an accusation levelled by an unnamed student, the new deputy governor had a hand in a secret military jail in Akot, just 35 miles away from Rumbek Central County. He said that 30 youth members had been rounded up earlier in 2006 and immediately they were taken to the military secret prison where one man was tortured to the extent of paralysis.

Other appointments include Chol Tong Mayay as minister of physical infrastructure. He is a professional engineer. The reshuffling has also affected Asunta Bawude James, Advisor for Social Welfare and Gender, who nevertheless still remains a member of Lakes state parliament representing Makuei-duor constituency.