8 February 2013

Sudan: Minister Sacked By Lakes State's Military Governor

Rumbek — Lakes state's military caretaker Governor Maj-Gen Matur Chut Dhuol has relieved two senior members of the state government on Friday evening without replacement.

The two sacked officials were the minister for information and communication, Charles Badiri Mayen and Mangar Matoc Machar, the commissioner of headquarters.

The military caretaker Governor thanked outgoing minister for his services to the people of Lake state, as well thanking the outgoing commissioner of headquarter.

The decree did not indicate the reasons behind Dhuol's decision but it comes only a day after the chairman of the SPLM in Lakes state, Daniel Awet Akot, said that he would never forgive Mayen for his role in allegedly opposing his appointment of the party's new state secretary general.

Mayen had refused Akot permission to broadcast a statement about the reason behind his decision to appoint Mabor Ater Dhuol as the new SPLM state secretary, the SPLM Lakes state chairperson said.

Akot said Thursday ahead of Mayen's sacking: "I will forgive everyone who had objected my decision to appoint [Mabor Ater Dhuol as SPLM state] secretary but I will not forgive that man Charles Badiri Mayen no matter whatsoever. If God come from heaven to earth, Charles deserve not to be forgiven."

The SPLM in Lakes state has faced several divisions since September when Mabor Ater Dhuol's appointment was announced. After over four months of argument Dhuol was finally sworn in this week in controversial circumstances as the event was boycotted by many SPLM institutions and individuals.

Opponents to Mabor Ater Dhuol say that his swearing in should not be recognised as the SPLM state Liberation Council did not vote to approve appointment. Politicians within Lakes state have traded accusations with Juba-based politicians over the current insecurity in Lakes state and the unrest within the state administration.

Charles Badiri Mayen was appointed in May 2012 by former elected Governor Chol Tong Mayay, who himself was sacked in January by South Sudan's president Salva Kiir after 25 people were killed in fighting between clans of the Dinka tribe, which is the dominant ethnic group in the central state.

Since taking power Governor Dhuol has made a number of controversial announcements, warning politicians he would close parliament should they continue to discuss politics and creating a secret detention centre for those arrested in connection with recent violence.

Suspects would only have access to a government appointed attorney, Dhuol has said, adding that human rights officials and family members would not be allowed to visit those arrested.

Top of Dhuol's agenda is restoring security. A arms registration process has been launched and a civilian disarmament campaign has been ordered by president Kiir.

Daniel Awet Akot urged citizens in Lakes state to collaborate with their new military caretaker governor Matur Chut Dhuol in order to bring peace, stability and unity to the people of Lakes state ahead of the 2015 general election.

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