January 30, 2014 (JUBA) - Youth groups from South Sudan’s Warrap state are currently split over a decision to either suspend or pursue an earlier mobilisation campaign seeking the removal of Governor Nyandeng Malek from office.
- Warrap state governor Nyandeng Malek addresing SPLM members in Kwajok April 15, 2013 (ST)
“We have had discussions among ourselves and with our leaders about political issues in our state, especially the way Nyandeng Malek had been managing the state since she became the governor. We were determined to push on with our campaign despite the difficulties we have had,” James Deng, a leading member of the youth initiative told Sudan Tribune Thursday.
The governor’s woes, he said, worsened after she dismissed Morris Mabior, the influential secretary general of the state workers’ union last year.
“This shows how tyrannical this government had become. But because of patriotism, given the political uncertainty, we agreed with our leaders to temporarily stop our activities against Nyandeng so that we support the national government address current crisis”, said Deng.
Santino Manut Deng, another youth leader, said some members were reluctant to carry out a campaign against the democratically-elected governor.
“We have not been active not because some of our colleagues were arrested but because the president has been reluctant to act on our demand. It seems he is afraid to remove this governor because he does not want to get another pressure like the ones he received following the dismissal of the governors of unity and lakes state”, he told Sudan Tribune from Wau, the Western Bahr el Ghazal state capital.
Nyandeng, the country’s only female governor, has twice survived being removed from power, with her supporters arguing that her exit could harm area’s reputation. But anger against those close to the governor in the area still festers.
At least one in every five people, sample interviews conducted by Sudan Tribune showed, vowed not to vote for President Salva Kiir in the next polls, if he maintains Nyandeng as governor.
A native of Warrap, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was disappointed with the leadership of President whom he also described as a “good leader”.
“I come from Warrap, but I have never seen any development brought by Salva Kiir since he became the president”, he said, amidst claims he pays different taxes, “yet the government does little to improve services”.
The government, observers say, could hang on until the country’s next election, but its vulnerable position means it lacks the courage to reform the corrupt political system or inefficient judiciary.