By James Gatdet Dak
February 28, 2009 (JUBA) — The Vice President of the semi-autonomous Government of Southern Sudan, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, described the execution to arrest Major General Gabriel Tang Ginye as a “complicated matter.”
General Tang is accused by the Government of Southern Sudan of causing the deadly fighting in the Upper Nile state’s capital, Malakal, in November 2006 which left about 150 people dead.
Government of Southern Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, who also serves as First Vice President of Sudan, issued an order to arrest the General who resides in Khartoum since that year.
Tang surprisingly re-appeared in Malakal on Monday, resulting to another deadly clash the following day which left 57 people dead.
Speaking to journalists on Saturday in Juba, Machar explained that General Tang, who is said to be an officer in the Sudan Armed Forces would only be arrested by the very command of the Sudan Armed Forces, not by anybody else.
“There is no body that would arrest a Major General in the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), except the command of SAF, of which I don’t belong to,” he responded to a question posed on the next move on the fate of the General.
Machar said he thought the matter was going to be discussed to its conclusion during the recent meeting of the Presidency in Juba which involved the President of the Republic and his two deputies.
“I had hoped that in the last meeting of the Presidency here in Juba the three big people would have discussed it. Unfortunately there was no conclusive discussion over the matter,” he explained.
He said some other avenues would be initiated to tackle the matter. “So, I am hoping that I may initiate a discussion of how do we handle the matter… I am going to try on my best, if it can be discussed, can we find a solution?” he inquired.
The Malakal incidence fitted the two JIU’s forces of SPLA and SAF, despite being a supposedly example of a future integrated national army for the country should the South vote to confirm unity in 2011 referendum.
Machar said there was need to handle the situation if the JIU force (SAF & SPLA) could fight themselves. “If they (JIUs) fought themselves and because of one incidence, I think the state needs to talk about how to handle the situation,” he said.
GOSS Vice-President left Juba for Khartoum through Malakal on Saturday where he would briefly stay in Malakal town before proceeding to Khartoum on same day. He will receive final reports on implementation of security measures taken in the last few days’ security meetings in the Upper Nile state’s capital.
Among the measures taken, he said, included the process of reformulating the forces that fought each other in the town and putting arms into the stores.
While in Khartoum he said he might also brief President Omer Al-Bashir on the measures taken in the Malakal incidence.
Machar added that he would also resume the pending discussions on implementation of the CPA’s outstanding bills on a number of laws in the Joint Political Executive Committee meeting with the National Congress Party in the national capital.