Equatoria Caucus in Salva Kiir’s Government Call for Immediate Release of Governor Joseph Bakosoro
August 19, 2015 (Nyamilepedia) – Tension is reportedly rising in the South Sudanese capital between Equatorians in Government and Dinka in the Government of Salva Kiir after unlawful arrest of Western Equatoria Government Col. Joseph Bakosoro.
The Equatoria Caucus in the government have called for the immediate release of governor Bakosoro without any conditions, they also want an explanation as to why he was arrested without any lawful procedures.
Security forces loyal to President Salva Kiir on orders from the Army Chief of Staffs General Paul Malong stormed the house of the governor in Gudele area of Juba and arrested Bakosoro while ransacking the governors house and looting money and properties according to the Bakosoro’s wife.
Bakosoro’s wife says there was no justification or explanation for her husbands arrest since he was was fired from his position as governor without any explanation.
Bakosoro was popularly elected as governor of Western Equatoria State on ticket as an independent candidate without any support from the then ruling party SPLM. However the popular governor fell out with the president and his close political allies in Juba leading to his abrupt dismissal.
According to Thomas Wani Kondo Member of Parliament, the Equatoria Caucus members in government and in the National Legislative Assembly held an exclusive meeting at the South Sudan Parliament in which they released a statement asking for immediate release of governor Joseph Bakosoro.
“We need to know where Bakosoro is,” MP Thomas Wani said speaking on behalf of the Equatorian in Salva Kiir’s government.
The MP said the Equatoria caucus in the government of Salva Kiir were speaking for the peope of Equatoria and wanted to know why Bakosoro was unlawfully arrested, he added that the law should have been allowed to take it’s course in court if Bakosoro had committed a known crime.
“While changes in the government is normal, we found that the removed governor is arrested. We are more concerned about the arrest of honorable Joseph Bangasi Bakosoro and the way he was arrested and his whereabouts is not known,” said Thomas speaking for Equatorian in Kiir’s government.
This is the first time Equatorians within the government are said to have come out publicly asking for law and order to be respected within the capital and within the republic, several cases of unlawful arrested, disappearances and killings have gone unanswered by security officials who are believed to be operated outside the government structures and failing to follow the law.
A Senior official in the government close to the Vice President Wani Igga who did not want to be named because of sensitivity of the case said the meeting was called at high level of Equatoria leadership in President Salva Kiir’s government to send a message that impunity would not be allowed and the law has to be respected.
“If we have to work together, then the laws needs to have to be respected, Equatoria in the government are against any unlawful actions or any impunity against the people” Said the senior Equatoria official in the government.
Meanwhile the MP Thomas Wani speaking for the Eqautorian government officials said South Sudan law does not allow citizens to be held for more than 24 hours without any charges, saying the constitution allows for any crime to be proven in the court of law but not through unlawful arrests.
“If he is suspected of any crime by the people who arrested him, then he should be taken to the court and the court should be proved it, because a person is not supposed to be detained more than 24 hours. So we are more concerned that we need him to be released.” Thomas Wani told media in the capital Juba.
The statement by the Equatorians in government could trigger deep sentiments within Equatorian in the government many of whom believe that Salva Kiir’s government is not respecting citizens rights as required by the constitution meanwhile the government claims to be representing the people.
The Equatorians in government opposing arrest of Bakosoro are lead by Wani Igga, Gen. Obuto Mamur and Martin Elia, meanwhile Dinka group in government insisting on arrest of Bakosoro and other unlawfully are lead by Army chief Gen. Paul Malong, Salva Mathok a nd former interior minister Aleu Teny Aleny.
Joseph Bakosoro is believed to have been arrested by allies of President Salva Kiir from Bahr El Ghazal region, one of whom is the Army chief of Staff Gen. Paul Malong who was heard telling officials on national TV that Bakosoro is being shown who the power belongs to, accusing Bakosoro of not respecting South Sudan Army.