President Salva Kiir has revoked the appointment of Afekuru Animu Risasi as a member of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly.
Kiir then appointed Hon. Joseph Lual Achuil from the SPLM party as a replacement.
No reasons were cited for the change announced on state TV on Friday evening.
Animu was appointed nearly two weeks ago under the Other Political Parties (OPP) ticket.
But her appointment caused public uproar with some netizens questioning her nationality, alleging that she is a Ugandan national.
The community of Lujule Payam of Morobo County—where she allegedly hails, disowned her in a public statement.
Some people shared photos of her passport and nationality cards—one indicating she is a South Sudanese, while the other shows she is a Ugandan national.
The OPP leader, Peter Mayen however said Ms. Animu was nominated by a group of women from the county and that the top leadership of OPP did not know there was a problem about her nationality.
“When we received the nomination, we just endorsed it as it is. Eventually, there have been complaints from the community that there was an issue with her. So the party leadership has finally resolved that her nomination has to be put on hold or suspended,” Peter Mayen said.”
Two years ago, Animu who was serving as a consultant in the office of Taban Deng Gai—then First Vice President, was fired over unclear circumstances, after an online disclosure of her alleged dual citizenship.
Ms. Animu has not come out publically to clarify the matters surrounding her nationality.
She has in many occasions represented South Sudan in international and local events.
According to the Nationality Act, a person born before or after 2011 shall be considered a South Sudanese National by birth if such person’s Parents, grandparents or great-grandparents, on the male or female line, were born in South Sudan; or belongs to one of the indigenous ethnic communities of South Sudan.
Chapter Six of the Act says if a person knowingly makes a false representation or false statement in reference to a material fact in an application for a certificate of nationality or certificate of naturalization, commits an offense and upon conviction shall be stripped of nationality, and fine, or imprisoned for a period not exceeding five years.
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