September 27, 2013 (WAU) - The governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, Paul Malong Awan, has maintained his objection to the reinstatement of the expelled members of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), saying he would only reconsider their application if they apologise to the leadership for misconduct and exhibiting indiscipline behaviours.
Governor Awan, who doubles up as the chairperson of the SPLM branch office in the states issued an order in 2012, dismissing six SPLM members of parliament over allegations that they were collaborating with members of other political parties.
The dismissed members denied the allegation and petitioned the SPLM’s National Secretariat in Juba, drawing attention of the chairperson, his deputies and the secretary general.
In February 2013, president Salva Kiir Mayardit, in his capacity as the SPLM chairperson responded the petition with an administrative order directing governor Awan to reinstate the six expelled members and convene peace and reconciliation conference in the area.
However, Awan turned down the directive, arguing that reinstatement should go through structures of the party.
At a meeting with SPLM parliamentary group during Kiir’s recent tour of Greater Bahr el Ghazal, Awan denied that there was a problem in the state over dismissal of the members.
"There is no problem here in the state. The problem is in Juba. I gave you [president Kiir] the document of those dismissed in Juba and if they want to return, they should apologise first. Let them accept that they made a mistake, then the SPLM can look into the case and see whether they can be reinstated”, Awan told the meeting presided over by the president in Aweil town.
On his part, Kiir avoided asking Awan what prevented the implementation of his directive but instead wondered why people decided to stand with those who have been dismissed.
“Why do people stand with people who have been dismissed? If I have done something wrong as an individual as Salva Kiir, why would people support the false. Why not follow through peaceful means instead of mobilising others”, Kiir asked the lawmakers at the meeting.
He equated the political situation, which governor Awan undergoes in the state to political situation he undergoes in the country, explaining that things which happens to governor Awan resembles things that happens to him also in Juba.
"I do not know why it happens like that. The things which happen here to Malong are exactly what happen to me in Juba. Why it happens like that?", asked president Kiir without giving specific examples of the things to which he was referring.
A MP from Northern Bahr el Gazal, who attended the meeting said on Friday that they could not comment on pressing political issues even though the president asked them to share with him challenges facing them in the state because he had already taken sides.
“I was one of the members who have wanted to speak about the case of our comrades who were summarily dismissed but I later decided to change the question because I saw that the president had already taken sides. He threatened the situation and provoked the feeling that he had taken decision to stand with the governor. So it was like asking a question for which you do not expect an answer”, the lawmaker told Sudan Tribune on Friday from Aweil town, capital of the state.
The MPs who had their SPLM membership terminated include:
- Kuac Wek Wol - a former state education minister
- Deng Deng Akuei - a former agriculture state minister
- Andrew Lual Buola - a conservative member of parliament representing Aweil town, capital of Northern Bahr el Ghazal
- Hikma Ali Malek, Achak Thiep Thiep
- Vicky Nyanut Urach