Activists applaud Kiir’s decision to reinstate Jonglei Speaker

By Aweye Teddy Onam

The reinstatement of the Speaker of Jonglei State Rt. Hon. Amer Ateny Alier by President Salva Kiir in a decree issued on Thursday on the state television SSBC has been applauded by political analysts, activists, and SPLM-IO.

Speaker Amer was appointed in 2021 under the ticket of SPLM-IO as per the September 2018 revitalized peace agreement’s arrangements.

However, in January this year, President Kiir sacked the speaker in another republican decree, which was quickly termed by SPLM-IO camp as unilateral violation of the peace agreement.

The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) Executive Director Edmund Yakani, praised Kiir’s decision to bring back the speaker in one of the Jonglei state’s government top positions of influence, saying her removal by then violated the spirit of 35% given to women.

“We as an organization welcome the reinstatement of the speaker and we appreciate our president for acting towards our aspect. Because we anticipated several times for Amer to be reinstated as the speaker of Jonglei assembly, we feel that by then the suspension of the speaker was a violation of 35%.  It’s good now that they have affirmed 35% because we anticipated that 35% was under attack,” Said Yakani, in an interview with No.1 Citizen Daily newspaper.

“We appreciate in all aspects…we feel the confirmation that women have a role in the political process in the country so keeping women in power offers an opportunity of getting peace,” he added.

Policy analyst and the director for the Institute of Social Policy and Research, James Boboya, categorized the reappointment of Speaker Amer by the president as “good political gesture” adding her removal was unilateral.

“The re-appointment of the Speaker of Jonglei State is actually a very good political gesture from the president because what he [Kiir] did before…he made his own decision by firing the Speaker. But now there seems to be good understanding about the process so the president reconsidered the speaker of Jonglei State Assembly. With that it will build a very good momentum now for the assembly of Jonglei State to come back into order and begin setting up the legislative agenda”, Analyst James said in an interview with No.1 Citizen Daily newspaper on Friday.

The return of the Jonglei Speaker as the assembly head came after President Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar met at J1 on Thursday. And the two principals appeared to have reached understanding of the matter.

The SPLM IO Acting Press Secretary Puok Both Baluang told No. 1 Citizen Daily newspaper that his camp has welcomed the return of Amer to Jonglei state parliament adding it is the right decision.

“We welcome the reinstatement of Rt.Hon. Speaker of Jonglei State Assembly. This is the right decision. We call upon the president to utilize this momentum to amend or to correct the violation that has been committed to ensure that the peace agreement is still respected so that we can move forward to ensure that the right activities are being implemented,” Both Lamented.

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