July 14, 2012 (KUACJOK) - South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal State (NBeG) on Friday held a swearing in ceremony for a fifteen new members of cabinet who were appointed on 6 July by governor Paul Malong Awan, following parliamentary approval of the entire cabinet without objection, officials said on Saturday.
Officials told Sudan Tribune that the function was an open event addressed by Governor Awan during which he expressed thanks and appreciation to members of the assembly for endorsing his nominees.
Awan reportedly voiced the need for a more dedicated commitment towards providing security and development and the vision of the country, stressing that he is no longer going to "compromise on service delivery".
The new cabinet took three different oaths of allegiance, office and secrecy holding holy books according to their faith. The officials swore to execute the functions of their various offices without "fear or favour, affection of ill-will".
He urged them to bear in mind the oaths taken and nurture faith in the execution of their duties, while maintaining that they must deliver. He reminded the officials that he too had taken an oath swearing to provide services, as one of the key functions of his office.
Tong Deng Anei, NBeG’s newly appointed minister of culture, youth and sports on Saturday pledged to discharge his duties to the best of his ability, despite economic challenges with which the world’s newest nation struggles to cope.
"I will do my best to discharge my duties and responsibilities to develop my new ministry into complete functional institution". Expectations were "high" among the state’s people, he said.
"I will do all that is possible with limited resources to take my ministry forward”, Anei said in statement, returning congratulations made following his appointment by various groups.
Garang Majak Bol, a member of the NBeG State Legislative Assembly said, in a separate interview, that he was happy that the governor had presented a new cabinet of skillful, dependable and competent figures drawn from various constituencies representing the five counties of the state.
"We indeed appreciate consultations made by the governor before appointment of his cabinet. This is a symbol of unity. We believe this government is capable to deliver services to the people," he said.
Aguer Wol Aguer, speaker of the house, also congratulated the governor for appointing a young and energetic cabinet to key ministries apparently in a bid to foster development in the area.
“You could see smiles of happiness on the face of the people who came to witness swearing ceremony of the new cabinet yesterday. That shows it represents their hopes and aspirations.” Aguer said on Saturday.
"That was why those who attended were all happy. The parliament quickly endorsed cabinet on Thursday so that there should be [no] constitutional vacuum from the relieved ministries,” he said.
With South Sudan’s independence last year many citizens hoped that world’s newest nation would begin an era of prosperity due to its oil and other natural resources.
However, a dispute with Sudan over oil has meant that in January South Sudan lost 98% of its income, when it stopped production as the two sides could not agree on a transit fee for southern crude oil.
Instead of growth, South Sudan’s economy is struggling to cope without its oil income. It is estimated that around one third, $4billion US, of South Sudan’s oil revenue has been lost to corruption since a peace deal in 2005.
Food prices, especially in states that border Sudan, like NBeG, have suffered inflation for over a year, since Khartoum closed the border for trade.
Breakdown of appointments
Officials not reappointed:
- Stephen Chol Ajonga - former Education Minister
- Buthena Michael Manyang - former Minister of Social Development and the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, Public Grievances and Justice
New faces include:
- Tong Deng Anei - Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports
- Kon Elbert Deng Chan - Minister of Education
- Ernest Mangok Mangok - Minister of Parliamentary Affairs
- Lino Adub Achier - Minister of Local Government
- Mrs. Nyibol Benjamin Ajonga - Minister of Information
- Mrs. Ajak Akok Kuel and Giir Riiny - Ministers Without portfolio.
Other appointees include:
- Reverend Yournew Wol Kuot - Chairperson of the Land Commission
- Diing Diing Malong - Chairperson of the Peace Commission
- Luol Mawien Deng - Chairperson of the Employees Justice Commission
- Diing Aher Ngong (former Aweil East County commissioner) - Chairperson of the Public Grievance Chamber.
- Atak Longar - Mayor of Aweil Town
- Simon Tong Deng - Deputy Mayor of Aweil Town
Retaining their positions:
- Abraham Aleu - Commissioner of the county headquarters in Aweil
- Mareng Chuor Deng Mareng - Commissioner of State Revenue authority
- Riak Wol Atuer - moves to public service commission.
- Ronald Ruay Deng - former Minister of Finance, becomes the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment
- George Garang Lual Achien, the Secretary General of the country’s governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the state was appointed as a Political Advisor.
- Joseph Akok Aleu - Security Advisor
- Mrs. Anguet Anei Ajong was made an Advisor for Gender, Child and Social Welfare