This article was last updated on May 27, 2022
The government of Warrap State has junked all calls for Governor Nyandeng Malek to resign for having left her baby in Nairobi, Kenya, where she gave birth and returned to the state without the child.
Some local youths and human rights activists in Kuacjok, the capital of Warrap State, have angrily complained about Governor Nyandeng, asserting she has violated her child’s rights provided in SouthSudan’s 2008 Child Act, which says children have rights of parental care.
The activists urged that what Nyandeng did must cost her the gubernatorial seat she is now holding in Warrap State, calling for her immediate stepping-down from the post.
Peter Mayen, an activist in the state, said anyone who abandons a child contravenes provisions of South Sudan Child Act 2008 and therefore Madam Nyandeng is not exceptional.
“Under the 2008 child act, specifically chapter 3 section 39 (1) indicates the action of Governor Nyandeng is a clear violation of Child Act. She had given birth to a child and we don’t know why she decided to abandon the child. The time is not right,” said Mayen.
He denied there was any political motive behind the petition. “Our concern is purely on the humanitarian grounds and the right of the child. If we were asking why she is bearing children, then you would have had a point. We are saying she is a human and we therefore recognize her right to bear a child but our concerned now is the right of that small baby,” Mayen was quoted saying.
The activist further claimed Governor Malek’s alleged decision to abandon her less than four months oldbaby sets a bad precedence for women in the border states, though officials in the state say that the child ismore than 4 months old.
However, authorities have seen the issue as being much of a family matter and urged the youths to respect social norms and the laws of privacy and not to turn personal issues into public debate.
Mr Joseph Anei Madoor, Director for Public and Political Affairs in the state’s office of the Governor, issued a statement on Wednesday rebutting the call for the governor to resign, saying that it was a family issue and that she cannot be politicized on that issue.
Madoor said those who issued the petition are youths who were badly defeated in youth elections that were conducted in Kuacjok on Monday this week.
“I am taking this opportunity to officially rebut the recent published article in Sudan Tribune in which some of the cliques within the youth union complained. They lost in yesterday’s polls whereby they decided to obnoxiously rush and propagate to all media houses that they have petitioned Honourable, elected Governor Madam Nyandeng Malek Dielic on something which I think is irrelevant,” Madoor stated in a press releaseseen by Gurtong Trust.
“There is no connection between the claims in which they petitioned the governor and the constitution. There is not any article in Warrap State Constitution
which deprives women of child bearing age from assuming such important port folios,” he pointed out.
The director in the office of the governor added that the youth group and the so-called activists have tempered with constitutional rights of the governor and also acted against Dinka cultural values.
“All I know is that the issue of an officially married housewife is purely a social factor and its privacy remainsof great paramount. It doesn’t need to be connected with politics whatsoever.
“Hon. Governor Nyandeng won the elections and she was known as an officially married lady, and that was among the criteria that led to her success,” Madoor said.
“Also in Dinka culture the most valued women in the society are those who have one husband and with no adultery record and, therefore, the governor has rights to enjoy all her marital rights since they are compatible with Dinka norms and values,” he continued.
“The removal of an elected governor must be seen from a constitutional point of view. The trust bestowed upon us nationally could not just be regarded as something simple. We must prove to the public that people of Warrap are peace loving people, a society that is capable of resolving their own affairs peacefully,” Madoor concluded.