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Sudan Tribune

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Warrap’s Kuac community joins calls to remove governor

By Ngor Arol Garang

October 21 ,2011 (JUBA) – Local officials on Friday said Kuac community in South Sudan’s state of Warrap has resolved joining voices calling for the removal of the female governor, Nyandeng Malek Dielic, because of her poor performance.

The area known as Kuac Ayok, is one of the eight ethnic communities in Warrap state, which is currently under 12 chiefs is playing a host to state administrative headquarters.

On 15 October, a community meeting reportedly attended by the state’s 12 chiefs and the state minister of physical infrastructure held on the outskirts of Kuacjok, capital of the state, is said to have reached an understanding throwing support behind a vote in the state’s parliament to seek the removal of the governor.

The meeting was also attended by members of the state legislative assembly representing the area.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune on Friday, Ariec Mayar Ariec, a member of the state Legislative Assembly said the meeting gave a parliament “go ahead” with efforts aimed at removing the state governor.

“It was a very big meeting. It was attended by all 12 chiefs and all politicians from the area including our state minister of physical infrastructure, Aniek Tong,” Ariec told Sudan Tribune from Kuacjok, capital of the state.

The state political advisor, Makuc Makuc Ngongdit, Arieche said, was supposed to have attended but traveled to Juba leaving the meeting initially planned to have taken place on Saturday 8 October. The local lawmaker said the gathering was called by community leaders to hear the reasons the parliament was seeking removal of the state governor.

“Actually we did not call the meeting. It was a community meeting called by chiefs. They wanted to know why the house is seeking removal of the state governor but it was postponed because some people wanted it held in our absence,” he said, explaining that they presented varieties of what he said were “logical” and “convincing” reasons for removal of the governor.

He said they came to realise from the meeting that the community were also discontented with the performance of the state government and were equally looking for ‘quick fix’ solution.

“It was a surprise that chiefs were the ones speaking out lack of basic services, failure to honour promises made during election campaign, inability to govern the area and more importantly the death of 358 people due to hunger,” he said.

“This was not us talking. The chiefs were the ones saying all this in the presence of the cabinet member,” he added.

He said speaker after speaker at the meeting complained repeatedly about lack of educational facilities, health, roads, water and more importantly veterinary services.

“Cows are dying due to lack of veterinary services. School children walk long distances to school. There are no roads. There are no medicines and worst of all there is the threat of hunger, to which we have already lost 358 people, but the state government denies it,” he quoted some speakers as saying in what he described as a complete day meeting during which all participant spoke their minds.

In August Warrap’s Legislative Assembly summoned state governor Nyandeng to appear before members of the house to explain the arrest and alleged torture of one of its members by South Sudan’s security services.

But governor Nyandeng, in a separate interview with Sudan Tribune denied the charges, arguing that she and her cabinet were doing a lot to improve the lives and living condition of the local people in the state.

“We are doing a lot in Warrap,” Nyandeng said on Friday. “The only problem is that there there is no means for the news to reach Juba quickly to expose many positive things done in the area.”

She called on media to give attention to developmental activities being carried out in the state instead of concentrating on negative reports.

“There are commendable developments taking place in the state yet the media do not pay attention to them. Instead some of them [the media], especially those which are widely read, concentrate on negative things. Some of the journalists capitalise on negative reports most of which are based on hearsay,” Nyandeng said.

But Ater K.Thiep, another member of the state parliament from Gogrial East County, denied that the state government was doing enough, especially in providing basic services to the people, adding that his community supports removal of the governor.

“Six of us in the parliament have been mandated by our communities in a community meeting we held in August to support efforts seeking an alternative solution, including removing the state governor if things continues the way are,” he said.

He alleged that the governor hardly conducted community tours across the state in order to enable her to discover what problems face the community in various counties and villages.

“I remember the first and the last time I saw [the] governor in our area was in May, when there was an ethnic attack on our area by cattle raiders from Unity State,” Thiep told Sudan Tribune from Kuacjok, capital of the State on Wednesday.

“She went once to my area after becoming a governor. So I wonder what developments people talk about while there are no roads. No schools, no water. No food, no clear governing policies. There are no veterinary medicines for cows. There is absolutely nothing. There are no changes,” he said.

He further added that his community voted out a a cabinet member in the state government and replaced him with a female politician because he was not performing to the expectations of the local people in the county.

However, Achol Chier Rehan, a minister of parliamentary affairs in the state in another separate interview with Sudan Tribune disputed claims that no developmental activities were being implemented in the area by the incumbent state administration and called for intervention from the central government.

“You know our state should not be compared to other states which had infrastructures when they took up offices in 2005. For us it was nothing. We began from scratch. There were no simple structures. There were no offices so we had nothing to begin with, but now there are a lot of improvements here and there,” Rehan told Sudan Tribune.

“There are now buildings located as offices for at least each ministry. There is a state house and internal roads are being constructed. The taxation bill has just been approved by the parliament. This will allow the state to generate money to at least fund some of the projects,” she explained.

“There are a lot of developmental activities carried out the in the state, only the people do not appreciate efforts of the governor. She is doing well. Our people need to be patient and give her their support.”

(ST)