Conflict in South Kordofan government over Finance Ministry

by N. op 't Ende

30 September 2008

A serious disagreement over budget control led South Kordofan State Governor Omer Suleiman Adam (NCP) to dismiss South Kordofan Minister of Finance Dr Ahmed Saeed Abdel-Rahman (SPLM).

After the rotation of the governorship from SPLM to NCP, a new cabinet was appointed in January 2008. Dr. Ahmed was appointed Minister of Finance, however, he was not allowed to appoint his own staff and had to work with the personnel appointed by his predecessor Al-Amir Abdalla Kambal (NCP).

The issue was resolved, the staff remained. But soon a new conflict emerged: Dr. Ahmed concluded that many funds that were to be handled by the Ministry of Finance were actually controled by the Governor's Office. Disagreement over the budgets led to closure of the Ministry of Finance by the Governor several weeks ago.

This extraordinary measure was followed two days ago by the dismissal of Dr. Ahmed. Both parties are in a meeting today trying to solve the conflict. It is as yet unclear whether the Governor has the authority to dismiss a minister without consent of his Deputy, Daniel Kodi Angelo.

Since the signing of the CPA administration and security in South Kordofan were largely seperated along two systems: one the official State administration and State police, dominated by NCP, the other the SPLM administration and SPLM police.

August this year saw a breakthrough towards integration of these two systems in South Kordofan. Interviews were conducted to select qualified personnel from the SPLM administration and SPLM police officers received training on procedures so they would be integrated in the State Police.

According to various sources the integration of the SPLM police into the State Police is actually functioning. Given the security risks in South Kordofan - there are frequent conflicts between Nuba farmers and Arab pastoralists - this is an important contribution to the State's stability.

Meanwhile, SPLM sources say the Governor of South Kordofan is under pressure to step down, not only for his handling of the conflict over State budgets, but for his performance in general. It seems even his own party members would rather see him leave.


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