News / Africa

South Sudan President Fires John Garang's Widow

Rebecca Nyandeng (R), widow of the late rebel leader and first vice president of South Sudan, John Garang, in happier days, shown here with Vice President James Wani Igga. A decree issued on Aug. 19, 2014 by President Salva Kiir announced that Nyandeng has been fired.
Rebecca Nyandeng (R), widow of the late rebel leader and first vice president of South Sudan, John Garang, in happier days, shown here with Vice President James Wani Igga. A decree issued on Aug. 19, 2014 by President Salva Kiir announced that Nyandeng has been fired.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Tuesday dismissed his advisor on gender issues and human rights, Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior, the widow of one of the founding fathers of the country, the late John Garang.

A decree issued by Kiir, which was read out on South Sudan Radio, announced that Nyandeng had been relieved of her duties.

A separate decree announced the sackings of Mr. Kiir's legal counsels Peter Gatkuoth Kor, Paul Obang Gore, Abraham Gatkuoth Yuod, Gach Puok Dak, Dhel Gatluak Jour, Kuajien Lual Wechtour and Simon Ruot Maar.

The high-level sackings came just over a year after Mr. Kiir dismissed his entire cabinet, including then vice president Riek Machar, who went on to become the leader of the opposition movement that formed when the country plunged into conflict eight months ago.

'Working for downfall of government'

No reasons were given for the sackings of Nyandeng and the lawyers, but presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said Nyandeng had been "working for the downfall of the government" and should have been fired long ago.

“There is nobody in the world that the constitution allows to have the status of a government and all the benefits you get from the government and you at the same time are working for the downfall of the same government," Ateny said.

Nyandeng has been a vocal critic of Mr. Kiir’s administration since South Sudan plunged into crisis in December.  

Ateny said the seven legal counsels who were sacked had not engaged in any official business since December last year

“These are legal counsels who happen to be, by coincidence, people who just slip to the side of the rebellion and they have not been here since December 15. There is a likelihood that the majority of them might have joined the rebellion in one way or another," Ateny said.

"Anybody who is not in work for the last eight months, even the law would require that person be removed, even if they did not rebel,” he said.



You May Like

Photogallery Belgian Security Measures Foreshadow New Normal for Europe

Rising threat of terrorism, disaffected Muslim populations and open borders, along with refugee, migrant crisis, are creating perfect storm for Europe, which some analysts fear continent is ill-suited to weather

Competing Claims of Responsibility for Mali Hotel Attack

Malian authorities ask public for help in identifying gunmen killed in attack, amid conflicting claims of responsibility from multiple jihadist groups active in the country

Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Kuch from: Bor
August 22, 2014 4:36 AM
Well, everybody makes mistakes and Rebecca Nyandeng did chose her words very careless immediately after last year's Riek Machar and his Nuer tribe men attempted coup.

And she mustn't overly dehumanised, because of that slip-off; she has made a lot of good things during our long struggle with the arab north Sudan and she has been always alone without her husband, our Dr. Garang just like other many South Sudanese women then and she didn't complained, just as many South Sudanese women didn't complained then and so l honestly request my South Sudanese boys and girls to respect Rebecca Nyandeng, she is still our mother and the mother of the Nation.

If people like Riek Machar and many others who have turn their weapons back against the South Sudanese people are often forgiven; then why do we have to be bitter towards her, when she didn't took up arms against the South Sudanese people?

Yes, her choice of words that morning of 16/12/2013, let to the Nuers massacre of the innocent people in Bor. If the situation was carefully contained in Juba and the presidential body guards were the only ones who have taken the law into their own hands; president Salva Kiir would have been out the office by now.

But Riek Machar and Nuer tribe men plotted the coup and when they failed, then they go for the shortest route of denial, while at the same time waging an armed Nuer tribal rebellion and they are shamelessly selling their absurd part that their was no coup, thinking that everybody is their fool!

Why did Riek Machar and Alfred Gore and Equatorian, ran away together at the night of the attempted coup?

Who was after Afred Gore, if Riek Machar was being thought after by the government of South Sudan?

Alfred Gore ran for the governorship of Central Equatoria and when he failed, he was enraged just as was George Athor of Jonglei, who lost governorship election to Kuol Manyang and became a rebel; Angelina Teny, the wife of Riek Machar when she lost Unity state governor to Taban Deng Gai, she got enraged, just like Alfred Gore.

When David Yau Yau lost his Gumuruk of Jonglei to his Murle's sister; he also got enraged and accused the SPLM to have rigged his constituency election in favour of his cousin.

by: Lakueijik Dut from: In Kampala Uganda
August 22, 2014 3:46 AM
Dr John Garang was not the father of the Nation/ S Sudan. He is the father and husband of these two idiots Mabior n Nyandeng who thinks Garang was the King

by: Timaali Fred Fredo from: Unity State
August 22, 2014 2:18 AM
president is very right to do that b'se they could disorganise the gov't any time otherwise we need peace in our country.

by: David from: USA
August 21, 2014 1:49 AM
As stupid as the regim of Salvakir, I was stoned when Ateny said widow of late leader/father of S.sudan is against the government. How they not know that eight months ago. I have no surprise that my leaders are nothing but embecile. Hopefully god will help s.sudan bring intelligent person into power. I really believe that all the damn regim is full of ediots.
In Response

by: Nhialahong from: South Sudan
August 22, 2014 2:42 AM

People like are not true patriots of this Nation, South Sudan. How do you blame Mr. President who indeed have done the right thing, How do really need resources wasted on people who are not doing work and being paid for just sitting and gossiping on the same government they are eating without delivering services. Please, you better come down here and see what is happening then relying on web-news. People are suffering here because of heartless people like you and those fools who have rebelled for their greediness.
In Response

by: Nipee from: Paris
August 21, 2014 12:56 PM
She is second wife to Dr.hopeless, Nyandeng had no right to hold this position because his second husband and his drugs addicted son rebelled against thesame party her first husband was founder. Nyandeng and his son are too blind to follow Garang legacy and she has to go to held.

Nyandeng would have been sacked last yr when she opened her mouth to speak poisonous tribal words that resulted into killing of innocent Dinka in Bor, Bentiu, Malakal, Nasir & Akobo UNMISS compound. It’s all ’sacked’ who ’became rebels.’ This indicates a power struggle rebellion. B’se nobody resign, if it was about bad govt & dictatorship but instead it’s bad when sacked. Nyandeng being the wife of our hero Dr. John Garang, we maimtain/control our emotions & keep respecting her in the name of Dr. John Garang but she must be put aside due to her confused mentality.

by: Iwa from: mombasa
August 20, 2014 10:16 PM
Bravo Mr. president,that woman is like mosquito in the night ,in fact she the one who this country in this can also sack the son mabior from the rank of captain

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs