Shooting of South Sudan Minister prompts detachment of local administration (Update 1)
Thursday, November 19, 2009 (Lainya) - Police are investigating the attack on the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in the Government of Southern Sudan, Dr. Samson Kwaje, in Lainya County, Central Equatoria state.- - -
Doctor Kwaje’s convoy was ambushed on Tuesday by unknown gunmen as he was on his way to Juba.
Five people were killed and seven others wounded, including the minister, who was shot in the arm.
The Lainya County Commissioner, Suba Samuel Manase, speaking to Sudan Radio Service on Thursday, said some local police officers were arrested because they had not provided adequate security for the minister.
[Suba Samuel Manase]: “The police who were in the stations were all arrested and taken to prison in Juba. Those in the payam are all taken, they are around ten. There are also a few individuals who are accused and they were also arrested. They are in the police station to answer questions. They were not arrested because they conducted the attack but it is for questioning purposes; to find out what information they may have about the attack.”
Commissioner Juba Samuel said that if the four civilians arrested are found with information linking them with the ambush, they will also be taken to Juba.
Samuel said the ambush has provoked fear among civilians, forcing them to evacuate their areas and go to Lainya town.
[Suba Samuel Manase]: “The situation is calm but yesterday we started receiving women and children from the area of the attack. When we asked them they said that since the army pulled out they now fear that the attackers may turn against them. Fear and uncertainty, that is why they left their homes. We sent the army to rescue the minister and when their mission was completed, they pulled out from the area. Some of the people think the army should remain there to provide security.”
The commissioner of Lainya county, Suba Samuel Manase, was speaking to Sudan Radio Service on Thursday.
Related news report from Sudan Tribune, Friday, November 20, 2009:
Shooting of South Sudan minister prompts detachment of local administration
November 19, 2009 (JUBA) – The state authority of Central Equatoria has resolved to detach from Juba County administration a local Payam administration following the shooting of a Southern Sudan minister in the area.- - -
The minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Samson Kwaje, was shot on his right shoulder on Sunday as his vehicle in the convoy fell under attack in Wanduruba Payam of Juba County on his way to a neighboring Lainya County.
The ambush left four people dead and five others wounded including the minister.
In an emergency Council of Ministers meeting on Wednesday, Central Equatoria state cabinet resolved to temporarily detach Wanduruba Payam from Juba County administration until the issues that led to the incidence are resolved.
Governor Clement Wani Konga to that effect has issued a decree detaching Wanduruba Payam administration and attaching it directly to the office of the Governor.
The decree explained that the cause of the incidence was a result of power wrangling among politicians in the area, particularly over the dispute of whether or not Wanduruba Payam should remain under Juba County or be annexed to Lainya County.
It revealed that Dr. Samson Kwaje, a Pojulu by tribe, had earlier appealed to the National Elections Commission (NEC) to instead attach Wanduruba Payam to Lainya County in the delimitations of the geographical constituencies.
Some politicians in Juba County especially in the local payam administration are against the move by the minister.
The area is mostly inhabited by Pojulu ethnic group who identify themselves with their community in Lainya County.
The state authorities have pledged to find a peaceful and amicable solution to the dispute in the area. (ST)
UPDATE on Friday, November 20, 2009 at 17:00 PM GMT UK
A news report has just arrived in by email from Sudan Radio Service. Note that its website is still experiencing technical difficulties, no news reports are accessible online. Here is a copy, untitled:
20 November 2009 - (Khartoum) - The Governor of Central Equatoria state, Clement Wani Kong’a, has issued a decree directing that Wonduruba payam be detached from Juba county and administered from his office.
Decree number 12/2009 states that Wonduruba shall remain under the tutelage of the Governor’s office until a referendum is held.
Dated November 18,it also appointed an administrator, Anthony Loki, from the CES Ministry of Local Government, as the payam administrator for Wonduruba.
The decree was issued days after the GOSS Minister of Agriculture was attacked by unidentified gunmen between Wonduruba and Juba.
There has been a dispute between politicians on whether to incorporate Wonduruba into the Lainya North constituency or whether it should remain under the jurisdiction of Juba West.