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SPLM threatens to pull from Sudan cabinet over Amum probe

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SPLM threatens to pull from Sudan cabinet over Amum probe

Sunday 13 July 2008.
 July  12,  2008  (KHARTOUM)  –  The  political  bureau  of  Sudan People’s
 Liberation  Movement  (SPLM) concluded its emergency session by refusing a
 decision by the Sudanese president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir to suspend one of
 its ministers in the government of national unity.
 This  week  Al-Bashir  formed  a  commission  to  investigate with cabinet
 affairs  minister,  Pagan Amum, on press statements where he described the
 Sudan as “failed state”.
 Amum,  who  is also the Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation
 Movement, was quoted as saying that Sudan is a “failed and corrupt state”.
 The  SPLM  official made the remarks during a forum on press and political
 freedom  in Sudan organized by the pro-SPLM Freedom Bells, Agras al-Huriya
 last month.
 The  emergency  SPLM meeting in Juba said that the decision is a violation
 of the interim constitution.
 The daily Al-Sahafa quoted unidentified SPLM officials who were present at
 the  meeting  as saying that Amum offered to resign “to avoid embarrassing
 the movement”.
 But  the  officials  said  that  participants  at  the meeting refused his
 resignation  and  asked him to continue in his post until an upcoming SPLM
 reshuffle is completed.
 Amum  also proposed standing before the commission to put what he said “on
 the record” but it was turned down too by the political bureau.
 The  SPL  official who spoke to the Al-Sahafa did not rule out withdrawing
 from  the  cabinet  if the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) insists on
 investigating Amum.
 On Friday the SPLM issued a statement saying that Al-Bashir’s decision was
 “either politically motivated or a bureaucratic floundering”.
 The  statement  also  said  that  the  commission is comprised of National
 Congress Party (NCP) only and does not include any SPLM official.”.
 “How can the judge also be the defendant?” the SPLM asked.
 The  First  Vice  President and SPLM chairman Salva Kiir was quoted by the
 daily  Al-Rayaam as saying that he was “disappointed” at the way Al-Bashir
 took the decision saying he only found out through the newspapers.
 “As a First Vice President I should have been notified before the decision
 was made” he said.
 The  Arabic  language  Akhbar  Al-Youm  disclosed  that al-Bashir issued a
 decision  lifting  the  constitutional  immunity  of  Pagan  Amum. He also
 ordered  the  formation  of  a  commission  of  inquiry  with  Amum on his
 political statements.
 Pagan  will  remain  suspended from his ministerial duties till the end of
 the probe, the daily said.
 Last month, officials from the NCP lashed out at Amum and called on him to
 resign.
 Sudan  presidential adviser Nafi Ali Nafi called on the Amum to step down.
 “Pagan  must be in peace with himself by resigning and it will be welcomed
 by the SPLM even before the NCP” Nafi said.
 “The  problem  of  Pagan  and the triangle of secularism within the SPM is
 that  they  feel  disappointed  and  miserable  because the NCP is able to
 overcome  their  shrewdness and cunningness and even come out stronger” he
 added.
 Mandour  al-Mahdi  the  Secretary General of the NCP political bureau also
 described   Amum’s  statements  as  “irresponsible  for  an  irresponsible
 minister who is trying to create a split between the SPLM and NCP”.
 Relations between the two peace partners have been shaky since the signing
 of  the  Comprehensive  Peace  Agreement in 2005 that ended two decades of
 war.
 Amum  was  appointed  last December in the government of national unity in
 the  critical  post  of  minister  for  cabinet  affairs  despite  earlier
 indications  that  former  foreign  minister  Lam  Akol  would  assume the
 position.
 The  SPLM  signed  a peace deal in January 2005 with the government of the
 National Congress Party in January 2005 ending two decades of civil war in
 Southern  Sudan.  The  peace  deal  made the SPLM, the ruling party in the
 south and the NCP the ruling party in the north.
 In 2011, southerners will be asked to vote in a referendum on whether they
 want  to  be  independent or remain part of Sudan. A census is supposed to
 prelude  the  elections  but  has  stalled  because  of  cash shortage and
 disagreement over the process.
 (ST)

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Written by torit1955

July 13, 2008 at 5:24 am

Posted in Sudan Politics

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