April 13, 2010 (JUBA) — The Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) official spokesman, Major General Kuol Deim Kuol, has rejected accusations by Bona Malwal, the leader of a minor southern party in Warrap stat,e over detention and harassment carried out by SPLA soldiers.
- Bona Malwal
Kuol Deim Kuol told Sudan Tribune by phone from Maridi town of Western Equatoria that SPLA is not responsible for polling stations or for harassing candidate or voters. It is only policemen who are accountable for polling stations in Southern Sudan, he said.
Presidential advisor and leader of South Sudan Democratic Forum, Bona Malwal Madut Riing, announced the withdrawal of his candidacy for the National Assembly and the candidates of his party in Warrap state accusing the SPLA of being "a tool of elections rigging by The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement".
The South Sudan Democratic Forum has candidates at all levels in this State, including Governor.
Bona, said in a letter sent to Sudan Tribune that his personal elections agents have been arrested and remain in detention. He further said "I and my party candidates for the various levels of these elections have been denied any representation at the polling stations of Twic County of Warrap State.
Bona alleged in the absence of other parties agents and through the instructions of the security agents, all the ballot papers are marked in favour of the SPLM candidates. This is happening in Tonj, Wunrok, Turalei in Greater Gogrial and Romic in Greater Tonj."
"In all the polling stations in the countryside of greater Gogrial and Tonj, polling processes are done under the trees. The voter does everything from checking his name to throwing his ballot paper in open, with everybody seeing. Those voters who vote against the SPLM are noted for questioning later. This has made the electorate to be frightened," said another was signed by Mayom Kuoc Malek, SSDF’s candidate for governor of the state.
Kuol Deim Kuol offered a different perspective. He told Sudan Tribune that Bona Malwal withdrew because "he knew that he has been defeated." He also referred to the candidate as a "betrayer." Bona Malwal serves as a presidential advisor to Omer Al Bashir.
Kuol Deim affirmed that "he withdrew from the race because the youth in the area are mobilizing day and night so that he is defeated and all the indications are that he is losing 99% because these youth want to show him that he is a betrayer – Bona has been betraying the people of Southern Sudan for all this years, and this is a golden chance for youth to show him what he had been doing for many years – so he withdrew because his knew that he is defeated 100%."
He noted that "SPLA are not allowed to go to polling station with their guns – I myself have just voted on Saturday in Juba and I was wearing non-military uniform."
* Manayng Mayom and Ngor Arol Garang contributed to this report