Cover Story

Juba Monitor Editor in Chief Appointed National MP

The Editor-in-Chief of Juba Monitor Alfred Taban has been appointed a Member of Parliament at the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) on the ticket of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) under First Vice President Taban Deng Gai.

Speaking exclusively to Juba Monitor, Taban said he would resign from the position of Editor-in-Chief of Juba Monitor Newspaper and appoint someone to replace him in the next two days.

“I would resign as Editor-in-Chief but I will remain as Executive Director for Juba Monitor. So, I will be around to help. There is no fear of the fate of Juba Monitor. The paper will survive,” he said.

He said he was pleased to take the appointment because Kajo-Keji where he was born 60 years ago has been devastated.

“Well, I am pleased to serve my people, my county and my country. And so I will be representing the place I was born, that is Kajo-Keji because this is the seat of SPLM-IO but representing Kajo-Keji. For me, SPLM-IO is not important. It is the place which I represent which is important and this is the place where I was born in,” Taban said.

He said he would advocate for the full implementation of the Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.

“I will make sure that the peace agreement is implemented in full. That will be my priority in parliament,” he told Juba Monitor yesterday.

He said he would pressure the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to ensure that the revitalization of the peace agreement ivolves speedy and timely implementation of the deal.

“I will encourage the speeding up of this process. A lot of things that should have taken place months ago have not been done. So I will make sure that the peace process is speeded up,” he said.

He said he was consulted by Taban Deng and the Secretary General of SPLM-IO Dr. Dhieu Mathok prior to his appointment  to fill the vacant seat of SPLM-IO which was occupied by Phanuel Dumo who fled and joined Dr. Riek Machar.

“I really did not join SPLM-IO. What happened was that there was a seat for Kajo-Keji reserved for SPLM-IO which was represented by Phanuel Dumo who ran to join Riek Machar, now fighting the government. So the seat fell vacant. And the leadership of SPLM-IO under Taban Deng Gai and his Secretary General Dr. Dhieu Mathok approached me and said there was a seat in my home area; do you want to occupy it? Then I remembered that the people of Kajo-Keji are in distress, they are displaced, and I said  I must take this opportunity to help my people and that is why l took this seat,” he said.

He denied joining SPLM-IO.

“I did not join SPLM-IO. For me, I am a member of the SPLM. I am an SPLM and this is the party I recognize. This thing called SPLM-IO is a creation of people. This does not exist anymore. The Arusha SPLM reunification agreement of January 2014 united all the SPLM factions,” he said.

Taban urged people not to feel disappointed for him to cross to politics instead of championing the cause of the media fraternity in the country.

“I have not disappointed anybody because I have done my job well. I have been struggling for the rights of free media. Struggling for the rights of journalists, I have done my best and a lot of people will testify to the number of journalists who have been released from detention because of my efforts. I have done my best. I have done everything I can,” he said.

He said he would continue advocating  for human rights observance in parliament.

“I am going to continue the struggle at another level from parliament. In parliament I am going to represent my home county–Kajo-Keji which has been completely devastated. It is in ruins. The houses are broken into and looted, the people have fled and so Kajo-Keji needs rescue,” he said. “I think I will contribute to rescuing Kajo-Keji. I will make sure that stability and security return to Kajo-Keji so that people who fled or live in bushes could return in peace to their farms and homes,” he added.

By Sworo Charles Elisha

error: Content is protected !!