Home | News    Wednesday 25 February 2015

Rebel-appointed NBeG governor renews calls for reforms

February 24, 2015 (JUBA) – The rebel-appointed governor of South Sudan’s of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state has vowed to work with citizens to achieve democratic reforms.

Rebel forces under the leadership of former vice-president Riek Machar have been engaged in an armed trsuggle with the South Sudanese government for more than nine months (Photo: Reuters)

Akol Madhan Akol, a former secretary general in the state joined the armed opposition faction led by the nation’s former vice-president, Riek Machar last year.

Formerly a member of the ruling party’s (SPLM) liberation council, Akol enjoys significant support and following in his Majak Baai constituency, an area straddling Aweil North and West counties.

He reportedly has extensive knowledge of Northern Bahr el Ghazal area, having worked for several local and international humanitarian organisations during the over two decade north-south Sudan civil war.

Akol further claimed his group under General Dau Aturjong was fighting “a just cause to put the country on the right path and from disintegrating into ethnic enclaves".

“We are fighting a just war to establish a system that promotes a total change of the mindset that worship personalities than institutions and shy away from raising governance issues and institutional overhaul,” he told Sudan Tribune in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

He specifically cited the current political difference between the state caretaker governor, Kuel Aguer Kuel and his predecessor, Paul Malong Awan as one of the reasons that forced him into rebellion.

Awan, the ruling party’s chairperson for Northern Bahr el Ghazal, also doubles as the South Sudanese army (SPLA) chief of general staff.

It said it is a “violation” of military doctrine for serving officers holding political assignment to directly take part in other political activities.

The 2008 Defence White Paper, Akol said, prohibits active SPLA members from participating in several forms of partisan political activities, including using their official authority to influence an election or solicit votes or monetary contributions for a candidate; marching in a partisan political parade; and publicly displaying partisan political posters at the service member’s military quarters.

“The current political rope puling between the caretaker governor and chief of staff taking place in Aweil is one of the hosts of issues we are fighting to correct and put in place a correct system that defines and demarcate the institutional roles and functions,” said Akol.

“There is nowhere in the whole world where an active duty military officer openly participates in politics, including holding a political assignment,” he further explained.

Akol urged people to join rebellion “to fight for complete dissolution of that system and throw it away to pave way for establishment and installation of an institutionally abiding and an all-inclusive system”.

The leadership announced it had appointed Akol as governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, while Magai Manyok Akochdit and Stephen Mach Malual have been named the representative and deputy representative to Australia, respectively.

Gatluak Riek Jaak has been appointed as a roaming ambassador for the diaspora.