UK Community Respond to Dismissal of Equatoria Governors

Open Letter
Open Letter

Open letter from Equatoria Community in the UK to President Kiir deploring the dismissal of the two elected Governors of Central Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria.

To: H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan
From: Equatorian Community in the United Kingdom
Date: 31st August 2015

Dear Mr. President,

Subject: The Recent Dismissal of the Equatorian Governors

We, the Equatorian Community in the United Kingdom, deplore the dismissal of former Governor Col. Joseph Bangasi Bakasoro of Western Equatoria State; and former Governor Rt. Gen. Clement Wani Konga of Central Equatoria State.

We condemn, in the strongest term possible, the manner and circumstances under which Honourable Bangasi Bakasoro was arrested on 16th August 2015 in Juba. This apparent politically-motivated dismissal from office is an unwarranted humiliation and a serious violation of the freedom and human rights of a man who was lured into Juba to attend a so-called governor “solidarity meeting”. The humiliation of the former Governors also reflects on the whole of Equatoria, who elected them, in light of no apparent reason for their dismissal. The duty of candour, demands that your subordinates are treated fairly and in a transparent manner but regretfully this noble procedure was not followed.

It is expected that an acceptable government reshuffle at this stage would have come about as part of implementation of the current peace agreement.

The above-mentioned former Governors were democratically elected by the people of Central and Western Equatoria, just as you were. In addition, the terms of office of the Governors were renewed by their respective State Assemblies for three years, along with that of the President. Therefore, using the same yard stick, their removal from office in the above manner, is a violation of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan. Further, the people of Central Equatoria State and Western Equatoria State had not called for their removal.

If the Governors had committed any act/crime that warranted their dismissal from office, this should have been brought before Parliament in order to decide on the matter and/or it should have been taken to the court of law in the country. None of these happened.

We are also deeply concerned about the daily killing of people in the country, especially the murder of James Bage Elias, the Speaker of State Legislative Assembly of Western Equatoria State on 21 August 2015; the killing of journalists; abductions and killings of people at night in Juba. We urge the government to improve security across the country and bring those who commit these heinous crimes to justice.

Finally, with great deal of trepidation, we want to express our deep concerns about the dismissal of the two former Equatorian Governors at this critical time when the people of South Sudan are anxiously yearning for unity, peace, tranquility, and reconciliation in the fabrics of our country. Such inconsiderate and unfair decisions can stir up adverse reactions; thus, causing further political tensions and insecurity in our country. We therefore, call upon their reinstatement into office.

Yours sincerely,

Federico Awi Vuni
Chairman, Equatorian Community in the UK
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