South Sudan parliament summons Upper Nile governor, denies accusations of knowledge on Malakal clashes
Written by Marvis Birungi, The New Sudan Vision (NSV),   
Monday, 16 March 2009 10:40

The South Sudan Legislative Assembly Building in Juba (Photo: SSLA website)
(Juba NSV) – The South Sudan Legislative Assembly summoned Upper Nile Gov. Gatluak Deng Garang today to explain the actions of his administration on last month’s fight in Malakal that SPLA estimates killed about 46 lives.

Gov. Gatluak denied accusations that he was complicit and knew about the attacks that were triggered by presence of militia leader Gen. Gatwech Chan aka Gabriel Tanginya that SPLA said is backed by Khartoum.

In 2006, Tang’s militia killed 150 people in Malakal. President Kiir requested the arrest for the general but he fled to Khartoum.

Addressing the legislators, Gov. Gatluak said that during the fight, a commander of an ambushing force accused him of ordering general Tanginya to attack Malakal.

He told the assembly during the clashes a commander of an ambushinig force acccused him of ordering Tanginya to attack Malakal and that a southern politician from Khartoum ordered the commander to hit the governor’s convoy before accomplishing its mission.

The Governor said the accusations against him were hatched by some Upper Nile politicians who he said are spreading rumours about him, saying the same politicians alleged he owned a milita during his nomination for the governorship.

“And this time they say I invited Tang to come and destroy Malakal and that I was coming in with a fleet of thirty cars to reinforce the militia,” he said.

The Governor said the same crowd accusing him planned and financed the coming of Gabriel Tang to Malakal.

“They re also the same people who continue to talk to Tang via phone in the presence of the state government officials,” he said.

The SSLA legislators had earlier accused the governor of backing militia Tang on the recent attack on Malakal town.

During the fight, Gov. Gatluak was absent from the state together with his deputy.

Among the senior decision making authorities absent from office on the day the clashes broke out, were the SPLA and SAF JIU commanders, the police commander, the head of UNMIS, and the head of the national intelligence and security services.

MP James Duku blamed the anonymous southern politician who is said to have called Tang on his way back to Khartoum before the clashes.

Had Tang returned to Khartoum earlier no fighting was going to take place, he added.

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Last Updated on Monday, 16 March 2009 22:59
Author of this article: Marvis Birungi, The New Sudan Vision (NSV),


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