August 26, 2012 (JUBA) - Members of parliament in South Sudan’s Warrap State have protested against what they claim is the “deliberate exclusion” of minorities in the appointment of the state cabinet, describing it as a “clear violation” of the nation’s Transitional Constitution.
The Dinka are Warrap state’s most populous ethnic group and the Bongo are a minority. While Bongo is represented in the National Legislative Assembly in Juba and in the state assembly in Kuacjok, they have never been represented in the state cabinet under governor Nyandeng Malek since 2010 when she became South Sudan’s first female elected governor.
The lack of representation of the minority group in the state cabinet has generated repeated protests against what many political figures regard as deliberate exclusion.
Lino Daffallah, a member of the Warrap State Legislative Assembly on Saturday told Sudan Tribune that his community was surprised to see that they were not represented in the advisory positions after being left out in the ministerial appointments.
Warrap State government has seen a great deal of dissent, mostly against the executive organs of the state administration, from members of the state legislative assembly. Many members sought to impeach Governor Nyandeng Malek in 2011. The house accused her of being incapable of managing state of affairs. Other charges included an administrative failure which allegedly led to 380 internally displaced people returning from neigbouring Sudan after secession of the south to starving to death.
Dominic Deng Mayom, a member of parliament representing a constituency in Tonj North was arrested in August 2011. Mayom claimed he was ill-treated despite showing them his legislative identification while being held in military custody on the outskirt of Kuacjok town before being released without charge.
James Machok, another member of parliament in the state in a separate interview on Saturday said the Governor had succeeded in dividing the people by deliberately neglecting the minority in the state cabinet.
“What the governor had done was a clear violation of the transitional constitution of republic of South Sudan. This is indeed a policy of divide and rule which we rejected and took arms to fight against it. We fought Khartoum because of such policy,” Machok told Sudan Tribune.
South Sudanese rebels fought for over two-decades until a 2005 peace enabled them the region to secede from Sudan last year.
Machok argued that the advisory appointments by the governor lack “representation and inclusivity” and violate the transitional constitution, “which talks about the right of minority but it also lack fair representation and inclusivity’, he said.
Machok explained that fair representation and inclusivity would have divided four advisory positions into two by giving Greater Tonj, which is made up of three counties, two advisory positions and Greater Gogrial also made of three counties plus Abyei two advisory positions.