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N. Bahr el Ghazal governor denies rift with Warrap counterpart

May 22, 2013 (JUBA) - The Governor of South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal state has disputed media reports alleging he was at odds with his Warrap counterpart over which candidate to support for the country’s presidency.

General Paul Malong Awan, Governor of South Sudan’s State of Northern Bahr el Ghazal (Source: paulmalongforgovernor.org)

The alleged differences between the two reportedly emerged during a recent visit by the Northern Bahr el Ghazal governor, Paul Malong Awan to witness the inauguration of a Roman Catholic Church building in Warrap state’s Akon county.

Analysts say the inauguration event, which took the Warrap governor, Nyandeng Malek by surprise, highlights the internal differences within the south-ruling party (SPLM), in the run up to the 2015 general elections.

However, a statement issued from Awan’s office indicates the occasion was “joyous” and “harmonious”, adding there was no disagreements between the two governors, contrary to media reports.

“It should be made clear that the two Governors, Paul Malong Awan and Nyandeng Malek, are in good terms and continue to serve the nation as Governors in their respective States,” the statement reads in part.

As such, any report of them being at odd with each other is fabricated with aim of undermining their joint efforts to ensuring prosperity among the South Sudanese citizens far beyond the boundaries of the two states, it added.

A minister in Warrap state government also dismissed the report as a “fabrication” of the media, saying the governors of the two neighbouring states were in harmony with each other.

“Am surprised to see such reports claiming over governor and her Northern Bahr el Ghazal counterpart are at odds. This is ridiculous and totally untrue,” said Paul Dhel Gum, the state minister for animal resources and fisheries.

No official statement has, however, been released from the office of the Warrap state governor.