September 16, 2013 (WAU) - Western Bahr el Ghazal state’s legislative assembly has reversed a decision suspending more than nine members of parliament accused of organising protests against the transfer of Wau county headquarters to Bagari in December 2012, after a court ruled last week that was not enough evidence to convict them.
The same court in Wau has found three MPs guilty of the same charge. Those found guilty have been sent to Wau prison to serve a two year prison sentence term. They include: John Richard Ukelo, Julio Vensensio Mango and Angelo Marchello Fak.
A court ruled last week that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the legislators instigated violent protests against the transfer of Wau county headquarters to Bagari, 12 miles south of the state capital.
The court, however, said the state still had room to appeal its ruling. The worst incident of the December 2012 clashes were when eight people were killed when security forces opened fire on people protesting against the administrative transfer on December 9.
The legislators have now been reinstated back into the state assembly with the Governor Rizik Zachariah Hassan’s consent.
In a statement on Friday, the state government chief whip, Justin Makuac Majok, praised Governor Rizik Zachariah Hassan for taking what he described as "wise decision” explaining that the reversal of the suspension of the MPs would “boost peace and enhance reconciliation efforts’" in Western Bahr Ghazal.
“I would like to congratulate Governor Rizik Zachariah Hassan on the changes he made in the cabinet and to also inform our public that he has reversed the order which suspended nine members of parliament. The state legislative assembly has already returned their [legislator’s] immunities which was waived to pave ways for investigation”, said Majok in the Friday press statement.
The nine members of parliament who have got back their seats back are:
- Deputy Speaker Edward Ukunjeree
- Hassan Ngor Aguer
- Harun Abaker Harun
- Samuel Arkangelo Duba
- Peter Andal Martin
- Florence Fatima Abina
- Cirilo Elias Unango
- Helen Juma Suleimen
- Maaz Omer Harun