December 23, 2012 (WAU) – Official opening of South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal state assembly, initially scheduled for 12 December, is now set for the early next year, an official told Sudan Tribune.
Majang Ngor Kuany, the acting speaker said the absence of the Governor, Paul Malong Awan from the border state and his alleged failure to delegate caused the delay in the planned assembly opening.
"The Governor is currently out of the state. He is on an official visit in Juba. He is expected to return today. He went to follow up issues related to our security. You know we are at the frontline, which requires constant contact with central government and follow up [of these] issues needs physical contact with authorities," said Kuany.
He added, "There are things, which cannot be discussed by telephones, by e-mails, or through third party. They require face-to-face contact. So he has gone to look for power".
The assembly closed for recess in September. During the closing ceremony, however, the deputy Governor, Madut Dut Yel urged lawmakers to be on “standby”, saying the assembly could convene any time an urgent matter arises.
The state assembly, in its nine months sitting, reportedly passed a number of resolutions and acts including parliamentary rules. Also passed was resolution to find plots and resettle citizens of the state who returned from Sudan after secession.
In addition, the 48-member assembly also elected leaders, including a speaker, following a parliamentary wrangle between members and former speaker, Aguer Wol Aguer.
Meanwhile, at least four people, according to acting speaker, died on Thursday when a landmine exploded in Kiir Adem, North Aweil County. The area lies within the much-contested Mile 14 territory spelt out in the 27 September cooperation agreement signed between Sudan and South Sudan.
“The information we have received indicates that the vehicle was being used for transporting Sudan backed militia forces to the area. I am told it was blown up after bringing the first group and it was going to bring another when it met its fate,” Kuany told Sudan Tribune.
The legislator, however, maintained South Sudan remains firm despite external aggression from Khartoum, which he said is evident by the proxy wars meted against the new nation in recent years.
“The government of Sudan knows very well strength of our community. If our people did not evacuate these areas during war when all forces with all their capacities could launch devastating attacks, why do they think we shall leave now that we have become an independent state with our army capable of defending territorial integrity of this county”, he queried.