August 29, 2011 (JUBA) – A Dinka Bor community youth group has criticised the formation of South Sudan’s first independent cabinet, saying it has not given their community its deserved representation and called upon those appointed to refuse their positions.
- Dinka Bor dancers, Malakal, July 31, 2011 (ST)
In a letter signed by the Chairman of the Greater Bor Youth Association (GBYA), Juma Arok Maketh, and published in Juba on Monday by The Citizen newspaper, the group expressed their discontent with the formation of the government, claiming that the positions given to their community did not match its contribution during the liberation struggle.
Oil-producing South Sudan declared independence on July 9, after southerners overwhelmingly voted to secede from the north in a January referendum.
The buildup to its birth was marred by a wave of clashes between rival tribes and renegade militias, armed with weapons left over by decades of civil war with the north.
Kiir announced the cabinet late on Friday, naming ministers from a wider selection of areas and ethnic groups than the previous caretaker administration. He has promised that posts will be filled based on qualifications and not tribal affiliations.
The group said the Greater Bor community, which inhabit the three counties of Bor, Twic East and Duk, with the combined total population of 382,000, has been mistreated and under-represented in the government.
In their letter the group said indicative of the problem was the retirement of 17 generals from the police, headed by Makuei Deng, despite the fact that “officers older than most of them from other communities were not removed.”
They also claim that when members of the government have been dismissed they are generally replaced by members of the same ethnic group, which has not happened in the cases of Thon Leek and Rebecca Nyandeng, who are Dinka Bor.
They give the following examples as evidence of their claim: the former minister of finance, Arthur Akwen Chol, from the Dinka Aweil community, was replaced by Kuol Athian, from the same community in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state; and the former minister of Sudan People’s Liberation Army affairs, Deim Deng, who died in a plane crash on 2 August 2008, was replaced by Nhial Deng Nhial from the same community in Warrap state.
They claim that the only representation that the Dinka Bor community receives is with the minister of parliamentary affairs, Michael Makuei Lueth and Majak Agot, the deputy minister of defence.