February 6, 2014 (JUBA) – Officials in South Sudan’s Warrap state are reportedly divided following last month’s resignation of its information minister over alleged links to the country’s rebels.
Critics and some officials have accused Governor Nyandeng Malek Dieliech of allegedly influencing activities that led to Nyanaguek Kuol Mareng’s exit.
“What happened was just a revelation of a tip of an iceberg. I mean the resignation of information minister is the result of the exposure of the big scheme. You know that the event in Juba took place the same day governor Nyandeng travelled to Nairobi, Kenya, without permission from the president. And nobody knows what she went for,” a senior member of the ruling party (SPLM) in Warrap told Sudan Tribune.
“Before that, she met the former vice president Riek Machar after he and his group conducted their press conference in Juba on December 6th. She also met other people, including Chol Tong Mayay, former governor of Lakes state. Nobody knows the details of what they actually discussed in these meetings, but there are evidences she met these people,” he added on Thursday.
The official, a close and longtime associate of President Salva Kiir, warned that things would never be the same, unless the latter “shakes off the dust on his shoulder”.
“Precisely, this is what I am saying. The president is being buried by the same people who come around claiming to be serving our people and the country under his leadership, while they are doing things contrary to their claims.There is no way someone under your leadership would go out to say things you do not approve and expected to be treated differently, especially if you remained quiet,” he stressed.
“Who knows, the information minister might have been speaking for her boss, otherwise there would have nothing which prevented her from dismissing her before,” he added.
However, several officials closely associated with Nyandeng have denied claims linking the governor to opposition forces loyal for ex-vice president Riek Machar, while others blamed her opponent for allegedly working to bring her down.
“There is nothing as such. These accusations are just rubbish. There are people working days and nights to see into that Governor Nyandeng is unconstitutionally removed but this will not work. They need to know this governor was democratically elected by the people of Warrap,” a cabinet minister told Sudan Tribune by phone from the state capital, Kwajok.
These are the very people who would evaluate her performance, not individual politicians, added the minister.
A legislator close to the state administration also dismissed allegations that the governor had played a role supportive to the activities of the former information, who on several occassion spoke on the state radio denying government’s version the the mid-December outbreak of violence was an attempted coup by Machar and group.
“It is wrong to accuse the person for the sake of it. The governor is part of the government the rebel wanted to topple through violence so that they install their own. Would it make sense if the government in which you served is toppled and expect different treatment? I have never heard before,” the legislator told Sudan Tribune.
What is happening in Warrap is just political rivalry and it is better you in the media approach it with objectivity so that you are not seen as taking side,” he added.