Ex-Boma minister says sacked over ‘critical views’ at dialogue conference

Boutrus Ochalla, the former labour minister of South Sudan's Boma state said the views he expressed during last week's greater Upper Nile regional dialogue conference led to his sacking.

Ochalla was removed in a gubernatorial decree issued by the governor of Boma state David Yau Yau on Friday last week.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Wednesday, Ochalla claimed he was dismissed after he expressed his community's concerns during the national dialogue conference held in the capital, Juba.

I was a member of the land committee during the conference. There, I spoke about the encroachment by the Murle community into our borders in Okello, Wi-buul and Awetaballa areas. This made the governor unhappy. My relationship with David Yau Yau was good, so there is no reason for the governor to relieve me. I was already in Juba on government duty before the conference, said Ochalla.

He added, I also spoke about the marginalization of my community [the Anyuak] and the lack of basic services. Like now, they go to Ethiopia because of the lack of services and they feel unsafe.

However, Ochalla, a state lawmaker, has welcomed his removal.

I was previously dismissed as a minister in February 2018, but I didn't complain because it was normal. This one is politicized, he said.

The former minister urged the national government to implement all recommendations made at the dialogue conference and address grievances of marginalized communities across the country.

Meanwhile, Boma state's mining minister, Beko Konyi refuted Ochalla's claims, saying the former minister was sacked in a cabinet reshuffle.

Konyi accused Ochalla of failing to deliver services as labour minister.

On his part, John Joseph Abula, the deputy governor of Boma state said the gubernatorial decree removing some ministers was a normal administrative exercise. Ochalla's removal had nothing to do with his views at the national dialogue conference. Also, Ochalla did not say something bad at the conference because he talked about the lack of services in his area, he said.

Ochalla was representing his people at the national dialogue conference as a member of parliament, he added.

The deputy governor accused the former labour minister of failing to serve Boma citizens due to absenteeism.

Source: Radio Tamazuj

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