December 4, 2013 (JUBA) - The Aweil community of South Sudan’s North Bahr el Ghazal state has published a list reasons justifying their call for the state governor’s removal.
- General Paul Malong Awan, Governor of South Sudan’s State of Northern Bahr el Ghazal (Source: paulmalongforgovernor.org)
In a press release the group said warned President Salva Kiir that the support of the area is contingent on how he deals with the numerous issues they have raised about the leadership of Governor Paul Malong Awan.
"We have repeated in many occasions that the citizens of Northern Bahr el Ghazal respect you as their leader and have no illusions against your leadership. But if they are pushed against the wall by Governor Paul Malong, as it is happening now, then we shall be left without option, but to step aside and watch the political scenario being played by Governor Malong alone", they statement said.
Only time will tell whether the Aweil community will continue to support the current leadership of the ruling SPLM in northern border state.
"The choice is absolutely yours. It’s you who can reconcile and unite Aweil Community behind you and it’s you who can also disown this great Community and leave them in unclear and confused political dilemma", the release warns president Kiir in part.
The release explained that the citizens of the area consider president Kiir as their son, adding that he would continue to have their political support as long as he meets their aspirations.
The Aweil community had demonstrated their support of Kiir during the SPLM decades of liberation struggle and since 2005 , when a peace brought the SPLM to power.
Kiir had also received a high percentage of votes from Aweil during the 2010 elections, "an indication that people of Aweil are politically behind you. This fact should not be ignored”, the release, bearing signatures of community leaders, adds.
Charges brought against governor Awan following the conduct of a one-day community conference held on 30 November, include his assumption functions and duties not granted to him by the constitution.
“All the executive, legislative and judicial powers are exclusively exercised by the Governor. The Governor interfered in many occasions with functions of State Legislative Assembly. He did this violation by dismissing and arresting MPs, and reshuffling its leadership without legal procedures”, the release adds.
The Aweil community also allege that citizens in Northern Bahr el Ghazal are subjected to arbitrary arrest without following legal procedures specified by law.
"The Governor puts himself in a position of prosecutor and/or a judge in the State. He orders the arrest and release of individuals according to his wishes”, according to the statement.
Other charges made include spending state budget without following plans and programs as well as not making cash transfers from the central government transparent.
The community leaders also cited Awan’s "arbitrary actions", notably the unjustified sacking of the speaker and six members of the state legislative assembly.
The release accuses Awan of embezzling "unspecified" pension funds and pocketing grant transfers for all the five counties from national government covering a financial period between 2012 and 2013
DIVERSION OF HUMANITARIAN AID
Awan is also held for diverting humanitarian assistance contributed by the natives of the area living abroad for personal use.
"In another incident of misuse of Public properties the people of NBGS living in USA appealed to American based organization (Kingway Association) in 2009 to support the people in the State with medical supplies (Drugs) with a view to alleviate the health problems in NBG. Immediately Kingway Association procured and dispatched medical supplies amounting to 584 units packed in 4 size big sealed cartons", the statement claimed.
The community members further accused the governor of taking the medical supplies to his house. They further said that the Governor and his Minister of Health failed to provide the donor with a detailed report about the distribution of he medication and the Association stopped a project aiming to ensure continual medical support to the state hospitals.