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Kiir directs N. Bhar el Ghazal governor to resolve political differences

March 5, 2013 (JUBA) - South Sudan president Salva Kiir has issued a letter, directing the governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, Paul Malong Awan, to resolve his differences between rival politicians through a political convention.

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Aguer Wol Aguer, the Northern Bahr el Ghazal speaker (ST)

Kiir, in a letter dated 22 February, also supported resolutions of the Council of States - the upper house of South Sudan’s national parliament - which nullified the removal of the speaker of the state assembly, reinstating him and six other MPs who Awan arbitrarily removed last year.

“I am writing to relay to your esteemed office the resolutions of the Council of States and subsequent directive by the president of the republic to implement the resolution of the Council of States in its entirety”, partly read the letter, signed by the minister for the presidency, Emmanuel Lowilla.

The letter, a copy of which Sudan Tribune obtained, further urges governor Awan to implement decisions of the upper house, while assuring him of the firm support of the president.

The minister, in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Tuesday, confirmed he wrote to the governor on behalf of the president.

The reinstated speaker of Northern Bahr el Ghazal’s state assembly has hailed the president’s decision to support resolution of the Council of States.

"Everybody is happy. This shows that the president has taken [a] wise decision. I have been receiving calls since yesterday and I am still receiving more until now. People are expressing their happiness and congratulating the president for taking such a wise decision to uphold the constitution which is the supreme law of the land”, Aguer Wol Aguer told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

The speaker, who was dismissed from the assembly in July last year, says he is prepared to work with the state governor and other lawmakers in order to steer the state forward.

Aguer, a member of the SPLM was removed on accusation of insubordination and failure by the assembly to deliberate on the 2011/2012 state budget.

The speaker, last year told Sudan Tribune, his dismissal is linked to the stalled formation of a new state parliament, citing a power struggle within the state assembly. He also claimed that the dispute began in April when a group of around eight members plotted to drive him from his position.

It remains unclear whether the governor will immediately implement the president’s directive contained in the letter, which was reportedly handed to him last Friday, March 1.

Deng Ajou, who hails from Northern Bahr el Ghazal state told Sudan Tribune that the governor may not easily implement the order, further expressing fears that some of the lawmakers appointed after the speaker’s removal could oppose the new directive.