South Sudan youth union in brawl over replacement of speaker
The leadership of South Sudan National Youth Union is sharply divided over the replacement of its speaker after a section of the council accused the president of repeatedly failing to convene a meeting to discuss the affairs of the organization in fear of potential impeachment.
The council, in a bid to reorganize itself to carry out its activities and to convene the repeatedly postponed meeting, held an emergency meeting at which Vivian Peter Malith was named the interim speaker.
Vivian replaced Simon Garbang, who until recently was appointed as a state member of parliament in Fangak. Garbang also works at Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) pension commission. The new council speaker was nominated by the council majority, according to the constitution of the youth, but the selection was rejected by the president of the youth Albino Bol Dhieu, describing it “an act of sabotage to create division”.
“We are at a time when our people, the leadership of the country from the president of the country to other institutions like youth need to unite our people and reconcile. It is not the time to divide people. This is the message I have been telling our comrades”, said Albino Bol Dhieu, president of South Sudan Youth union when reached on Sunday to comment on the matter.
He denied using national security members to intimidate and block meetings of the group.
“The national security never interfered in our activities. All those reports are baseless. They have no bases, they are unfounded and members of the general public should not be tempted to take these reports as authentic. This is the work of people with political agenda”, said Bol.
The youth leader was reacting to accusations against him by some of his opponents that he uses the National security to intimidate and block meetings meant to discuss the matters of the organization.
“Albino has never focused on Youth issues. He has been using national security for threats, intimidation and blocking Youth activities. He has been using the youth as a project of mobilizing funds for himself”.
“Youth councils are legally supposed to conduct meeting every six months to determine the progress made by the executive. Since last March 2015, no meeting had ever occurred. The reasons are that Albino fear of being impeached for misappropriating Youths union fund. Since the council could not wait any longer they ( members of the council) conducted their meeting three days ago and impeached the council speaker, who is so much reluctant in calling the meeting. He is also a meeting of state parliament in Fangak state yet he still doesn’t want to leave the civil society activities”, a member of the group said on Friday.
Albino Bol and Lino Ajang Ajang contested elections in 2015 after two contestants withdrew from the race following reports alleging threats and intimidation by the national security personnel in favor Bol.He was later declared to have been the choice of the youth with 110 votes while his rival in the race, Lino Ajang obtained 90 votes, compelling him to concede and accept the result out of fear of reprisal.Ajang and his supporters are keen to stress that they would not have lost the race had the national security not interfered during the campaign and at the time of voting.