News, Northern Bahr el-ghazal

Persons with Disability attack gov’t official


By Hou Akot Hou

Persons with disabilities in Northern Bahr Ghazal state, on Wednesday assaulted the Director General in the Ministry of Gender and Child Social Welfare over missing food donations.

The assault reportedly turned very ugly and tense, where the Director General, Mrs. Mary Arkangelo Bak was slapped.

One of the persons with disability, Machuar Garang Deng told this outlet on Thursday that the brawl occurred at the Ministry’s premises, on Wednesday morning.

He narrated that the fighting ensued after a group of people with disabilities stormed the DG’s office to find out how the food that was donated to them went missing.

“The bags of sorghum, maize, flour, and cooking oil went missing. We found out that the food was whisked away as the footprints or marks of the car that took away the food were visible in the compound,” he narrated.

“The Director General keeps promising us that. You keep waiting, and at the end we learned that she conspired with other ministers to loot us,” he added.

Deng said he and his other accomplices took it upon themselves to act violently as they learned that the new minister of gender was not involved in the looting but that the DG cheated them, which forced him and his accomplices to go rough.

“The Minister distanced himself from the problem, so we were too angry as other vulnerable groups like the deaf and the blind got their share, and we, the lame people and other people who use crushes, never got ours, but they prioritized returnees instead,” he said.

In her rebuttal, the director general at the Ministry of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare in Aweil, Mrs. Mary affirmed that she was smacked on the face by one of the men.

She said people with disabilities (PWD) stormed her office and she had appealed for forgiveness.

“I want to reiterate to the people of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State that the donation from Concern South Sudan was meant for returnees and that other surpluses be given to the PWDs,” she said.

“We distributed the food as meant by the donors, and I reported it to the Hon. Minister that the food finished instantly, and he, the minister, responded that the issue of food that finished without the share of PWDs will be sorted out,” Mary stated.

But Mary said she regretted being abused and insulted despite the slapping.

Ms. Mary said that the issue of food that resulted in chaos between her and the PWDs is a minor issue that could not pave the way to drag the accused man to court as he is a disabled person, adding that the minister and the partners will look into their issues.

The food items were donated by Concern South Sudan, a national NGO that belongs to the First Lady, Mary Ayen Mayardit.


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