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Confusion over resignation of South Sudan’s public services minister

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October 31, 2011 (JUBA) - Awut Deng Acuil, South Sudan’s minister for labour, public service and human resource development, was relieved from her position over the weekend with no clear reason being given by her or the government.

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South Sudan’s minister for labour, public service and human resource development (ST)

Acuil is reported to have resigned from the cabinet days before the state television (SSTV) announced President Salva Kiir’s decree, which relieved the minister from her powerful portfolio, just weeks after she was re-appointed in the Kiir’s post-independence reshuffle.

The presidential decree does not, however, explain why she resigned or when Kiir will appoint her successor.

An official from the public service ministry, who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter, told Sudan Tribune on Sunday that the minister’s woes mainly stemmed from her recent decision to form a committee that would be tasked with nationwide screening of all civil service employees both at the state and national level.

Acuil’s screening committee, which was to be headed by the minister herself, he added, was reportedly endorsed by president Kiir as was scheduled to begin immediately.

“We all knew that the decision to form such a committee would rub many people the wrong way. There are scores of people in public service who lack qualifications and removing them will not be an easy task,” said the official.

A similar project in Unity state established by governor Taban Deng Gai, was met with considerable resistance.

Acuil’s committee, consisting of three people, was to be headed by the ministers for labour, public service and human resource development.

“The whole concept of public service reforms was bound to face challenges once the implementation process got underway. Not many people have properly comprehended the policy,” the official further noted.

The outgoing minister, recently came to prominence when a former governor of Warrap state alleged that Acuil had threatened his life during a political power struggle.

Lewis Anei Madut, now an advisor in the country’s ministry of culture and heritage alleges that there is “deliberate attempt” by the former labour and public service minister to politically destroy him. Acuil, however, denies the accusation and instead says Madut, whom she defeated in last year’s election simply had a grudge against her.

A renowned gender activist, Acuil, an MP for Warrap’s Tonj county, holds a BA in international relations from the United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya. She was also a co-founding member of the Kenya-based Sudanese Women Association.

In 2002, she was awarded the prestigious Inter Action’s 2002 Humanitarian Award; an accolade annually given to an individual who has demonstrated “extraordinary” leadership in support of non-governmental organizations and the people they serve in the developing world.

Five years later, Acuil and Margaret Alva, an Indian national both received the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award for their humanitarian work.

(ST)

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  • 31 October 2011 08:36, by Michael Angelo

    Ms. Awut is one of a hard-working minister I know so far, but she might did something wrong that anger her boss.

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    • 31 October 2011 08:50, by Abugua

      Indeed she is one of the best uncorrupted leader We will indeed missed the reform agenda she want to introduce. this will make many of us who are qualified not to get the job.

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    • 31 October 2011 08:58, by Shadrack Chol Buoi

      Awut, you might have done somethings wrong to the GOSS. Otherwise, dying of another politican is a great chance to somebody who remain seated untill the Sun goes down. Your resignation from GOSS,will bring news to the Nation of South Sudan. By the way, what will you do Madam? You Do you have another Job? Because getting a job these days is not a joke especially for you ladies.

      By shadrack1981@y

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    • 31 October 2011 09:33, by Matur Jonghok

      What a remarkable move by the Minister Awut to embark on a nationwide screening of Public servants only to be derailed by her resignation over unclear circumstances.
      Thanks for job weldone. The people of your calibre are what the future of South Sudan needs.

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    • 31 October 2011 11:06, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      She real deserved that postion,with the type of Education she has aquired,but otherwise there is something behind the curten. i wish her again a good Luck

      OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

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    • 31 October 2011 22:15, by harry

      Any official who obtained his/her degree including masters or phd during war periods needs to be questioned and screened for authenticity of those degrees. How come these officials got those advanced degrees when they were fighting in the bush? Any explanations?

      Harry,

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    • 1 November 2011 00:16, by Baring

      Our respected Sister want to prepar herselfe for the upcaming presidental election in South Sudan.. you dont know!!! Oh poor lady!!! she is on the pressure since we got our independant.. Let see who is next.. i thing Mr. Gier Choank.

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    • 1 November 2011 01:15, by Atak Akok

      This really shocking, Mrs Awut was doing great job, and certainly her plan to screen nationwide was a good plan for the better system in a young Country like South Sudan.
      However, it is true that every good deed has side effect also.
      The toughest thing to do in our world today is to bring change especially to people. People always never like the Change, and Awut she is a brighter leader in her R

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    • 1 November 2011 09:59, by Antigraft

      Let Awut resign. She is the only dinka whose room is in heaven.With the current situation when corruption is at its highest, and incapables are running the country, Awut, it is better for one grass to be pulled. It can not cause the house to leak. More rightful people should reciprocate Awut.But she is against the culture of thieve, now she is the target. But angel of God is with her. Awut I am 4

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  • 31 October 2011 09:26, by Pan-nywele

    The issue remains that Warrap state remained divided for sometimes back until now,greater Gogrial in Warrap state are against greater Tonj which is also contributing to the relieving of our top leaders in the government,madam Awut did not resign for nothing,the president might have prepared someone from greater Gogrial to take her position,iam really embarrassed by how Warrap state is being handle

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    • 1 November 2011 22:02, by Good Citizen

      this time round, the president must appoint some one from Unity State,that is not represented in the ministerial position.all the best to the new guy.

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  • 31 October 2011 09:27, by Bush

    I think most of those thieves who are holding fake degrees, masters and PhD and holding government positions illegally are threatening her life because she is going to get rid of them soon.There is no smoke without fire, there must be something fishy around about her resignation,we want to know.

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    • 31 October 2011 09:55, by Joseph

      Bush, you have answered it all. However, there are two important things that have led to her resignation. The issue of the screeing all the civil servants including the self education president himself. Most of the civil servants are just goons and need to be fire.The second issue is the inter-clan conflict between Gogorial and Tonj started by the politicains in Juba and taken back home in Warrap.

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      • 31 October 2011 10:44, by pabaak

        She could come out and tell the people of South Sudan why she resign, otherwise it could be difficult to predict her decision. it seem she sometime make some mistakes but she’s fine, one of few ministers that are showing the future of the South Sudan. we will see who will replace her. if they bring one that’s corrupt and know nothing about Job then it means we are going backward.

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  • 31 October 2011 09:56, by Ker.

    am not happy with the way Mr. Kirr handle the issue of Mrs. Achuil resignation, this mean there must be political manipulation otherwise Kiir should say something.
    but then Awut should also let us know what provoke her to resigned.

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    • 31 October 2011 10:11, by Dinka Dominated SPLA/M

      lets her go who cares there is so many going and so many coming. she is not the only educated woman in the south.

      to those who think that great warap is mass are wrong at all. we are not and if you think so than you don’t have a feature.
      awan Chan is a pleace were you can get freedom of all mankind. thank God I am there.
      down with bad wisher.

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      • 31 October 2011 11:22, by Mosquito

        We cannot blame Ms Awut for her move. This world is where pledges can easily been broken with less concern on humanity. She must have strong reasons to resign when the newly born Nation needs her wisdom.
        The matter in the cloud will be one day known to the citizen of this new Nation and Mr. President is surrounded by people against humanity.

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  • 31 October 2011 11:44, by wekwoldut@yahoo.com

    Ms Awut Deng Acuil you right to resign because this gov,t of ours have the true of work as minister, becuase if thing ,re going wrong it can give you anorexia of work, better to stay at home without any work ,but you have disapointed president Kiir for selecting women in his gov,t

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  • 31 October 2011 12:13, by LT Gen Madut

    Awut was fired not resigned as you think ....I knew why .....she was a bad lady anyway ......just move on people !!!!!she was doing some thing very weird that we can not put in media because we respect her late husband ...Tonj_Gogrial issues has nothing to do with this .

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    • 2 November 2011 05:17, by Southerner

      Mr. self-elevated Lt. Gen Madut, what qualifications do you have to be a Lt. General? Your comment suggests that you are one of those that should be screened. How can she be bad if she wants to promote the common good of the nation by ensuring competent people hold the key public offices? Whatever she does in her personal life does not detract her patriotic commitments to building this nation.

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      • 2 November 2011 05:59, by LT Gen Madut

        @Mr so call southerner..iam LT Gen because I killed Arabs and liberated this land ....your boss Awut is a corrupt lady ...can you tell me what are her achievements in her life to make her minister?if she not corrupt ..why did asked president Kiir to appoint her own relative Mr Week Mamer from minister to minister ?

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        • 2 November 2011 14:54, by Southerner

          Mr. "LT Gen for killing Arabs" how many of the so-called "liberators" have not brought in illiterate masses from their villages to assume leading public positions in South Sudan? How many of your soldiers are actual soldiers, and not clan-members ghost soldiers whose only task is to siphon public funds illicitly? This lady resigned/fired because she is one of the rare dinkas with conscience.

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          • 3 November 2011 03:33, by LT Gen Madut

            @Mr southerner (northerner)I know you trying to detor the subject ..your boss Awout has been caught red handed ...how could she hire kenyians?relatives,friends ?and still a good mama?how many Junubeen got jobs when we were in Kenya ?she been here with round gun shooting at every body ...so all ministers who said no her ideas are bad people?and your girl is angel?

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            • 3 November 2011 07:45, by Southerner

              Mr. LT Gen Madut, if I am a northerner then what would you describe yourself? After all the only reason the northerner is despised is because of his oppressive policies. By replicating these oppressive policies are you not worse than the northerner? What nonsense liberation you are bragging about if you are opposed to national reforms that will move the country forward? Kenyans are not the issue.

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  • 31 October 2011 12:31, by paweetdit

    I don’t see the reasons as why people seems to be crying of Ms Awut Deng when she resigned, when you have sharpen your knife to kills, you may knife yourself unknowingly so Awut has deserve the misfortune.
    What you do to your brothers and sisters may tune to you. "Pole sana mungu atabarika".sorry God will bless you for what you did.
    Secondly, Awut is not the only educated person in Tonj Greater.

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  • 31 October 2011 12:45, by Madingthith

    Dear Readers & Writers,

    I am very disappointed by the decision which was taken by the Minister for Labor and public services, but anyway we will will still get the cause of her resignation.

    South Sudan does not need people who are always vocal on corruption.

    Thanks All

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  • 31 October 2011 15:18, by Joseph

    Resignation of Awut Deng is realy confusion, but she has right because she was letdown by the staff of the ministry. I have been in Ministry of Labour, Public Services and Human Resource Development several times for consultation and most of staffs are given negative response.
    Awut try several time to implement Public Services reform while other senior officer resist. She has right to resign

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    • 31 October 2011 18:27, by Sir Bleak

      You missed the point you people, Don’t you know that her ministry is among the corrupt ministries? she is not good enough to do that screening if it was the cause of her resignation.
      And let me remind you my dear educated ones, remember where do we come from, we were not in a race of higher education but in race of losing life, so whoever live to have the position he or she occupied, should occupy

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      • 2 November 2011 08:01, by Liberal

        Dear Sir Bleak & LT General Madut,

        Thanks for your comments. The resignation of madam Awut is because she was defeated shamelessly by the Council of ministers on the matter of civil servants screening. Awut’s Ministry is top 5 of corrupt ministries and there is concrete evidents about it. How can you screen South Sudanese and replace them with foreigners? Awut is a woman of no mercy.

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  • 31 October 2011 21:29, by Manyieldit

    Awut was a wrong person in a right position. I wish not come back in any cabinets of this country. She messes up the entire ministry by only appoint females to occupy all the position in the ministry except the posts of the car drivers.

    Her ministry is full of Kenyan who are holding the position of directors while we are jobless. I wish president can also extend this to the governors.

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    • 1 November 2011 14:52, by Sir Bleak

      Imagine that,what a shame and childish ideas of employing foreigners in a public sector and claim to exercise a national duties.

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  • 31 October 2011 23:35, by LT Gen Madut

    Awut was corrupt lady ,I hope they gonna fire her nephew the guy she brought from Canada ...Wek Mamer Kuol deputy minister for Deng A lor

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    • 1 November 2011 08:31, by Gives-poor ’ier dues

      Easy guys!!!, to me this Awut didn’t do anything bad,but issue related to planned screening to comeforth,those illitrates have their own strong belief that they brought cpa and the need compensation,of which the should wait for pension instead and allow those with skills to make something.
      Thank Madam for complying with President Degree.The next person is this cowards woman of Anti-Corruption.

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      • 1 November 2011 15:09, by Sir Bleak

        I really wonder, who are the skilled people?

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  • 1 November 2011 16:13, by Southerner

    Acuil’s resignation is a bad omen for any southern politicians and ministers with reform agenda that promotes nationalism and nationbuilding. But it is also the beginning of the demise of those political opportunists who lack credibility to be public servants, and whose only qualification is political thuggery and greasing of their little pockets with dirty public money. Their end is eminent!

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  • 1 November 2011 21:29, by Good Citizen

    i think Madam Awut Deng, is a woman of principle forrefusining to serve in corruption-ridden government.but hey, we might be wrong! Look, who recruited all the fake diplomas,degrees,PHD etc in the civil service if not the madam herself? she recruited all the ’’liberators’’ regardless of qualification and on seeing incompetency bearing its fruits,she become furious wanting to dispose them off?

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  • 1 November 2011 21:41, by Good Citizen

    Word to liberators: dear brothers,ifyou believe that you are true liberator, give that position you are clinging on to your fellow southerner who will lift our nation to the level that we all want to see.those southerners who ’’did not fight the war’’ are competent and capable of liberating our country from ignorance,poverty, corruption,bad governance etc.those of madam AWUT belong to 2nd LIBERATO

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  • 2 November 2011 05:25, by Puochd

    Sorry, for the poor Lady but this create a golden oppurtunity for new blood in Mayardit’s Government. Mr. President, I believe that you a visionary Leader to rewards this time the SPLM strong-hold of Eastern Jikany Nuer of Upper Nile State with a ministerial position. We felt, left out of your previous Governments since signing of CPA in 2005. we are at your merciful will to serve this nation.

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    • 2 November 2011 16:05, by Abraham Lueth

      Dear Madam,
      What you have decided is completely wrong stepps ,and this is not the wright time for you to start planning to screen thousands of the South Sudanases who suffered so much during the war and after the indenpendece. Remember there was a word said by Dr John Garang that let us go slowly to reach quickly ,we need to have patient in every thing we are doing here in South other wise
      abram

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