Corruption in the Republic of South Sudan is significant and
has one of the most challenging environments in the world; it is however, also
the birth place of Mabior Garang de Mabior, the former minister of water and
Mabior Garang de Mabior (hereafter referred to as ‘Mabior’)
is the oldest son of former Sudanese leader, Dr John Garang de Mabior and his
wife Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior. He was
born on 12 April, 1977 and has two brothers and one sister. Their family is
part of the Dinka ethnic group. He considers Kenya his second home, but also
spends part of his time in Uganda. He shared a close relationship with Fidel
Odinga, the son of Kenyan Prime Minister Ralia Odinga, prior to Fidel’s death.
In 2012 he announced his move to oppose the government of
his father’s successor, General Salva Kiir Mayadrdit. Before his appointment,
Mabior was the spokesperson of the Machar-led rebels, the leader of which Dr
Riek Machar, was Mabior’s father’s opposition.
Mabior joined the opposition in January 2014; a month after
the war broke out on 15 December 2013 and participated as a delegate to peace
talks in Addis Ababa before he was later appointed to head the information and
public relations committee.
In August 2014, he was caught and arrested for an attempt to
assassinate President Salva Kiir Mayadrdit, after he was caught at the
president’s hotel with a loaded pistol in his possession. The assassination
attempt was treated as a criminal case as well as an act of terrorism. In 2016,
he denied reports that rebels of Dr Riek Machar had been abducting Ugandan
businessmen and woman for ransom. The United Nations have confirmed that the
rebel group for which Mabior is the spokesman is also responsible for the
killing of a least 287 civilians who were taking refuge in a mosque.
He was appointed as the minister of water affairs and irrigation
in 2016 in a cabinet expected to administer the world’s youngest nation,
pending elections. The young minister has what many deem a radical political
view with a controversial personality. He was also one of the youngest
ministers Sudan had ever seen and this in turn made him a point of interest,
along with his rugged and relaxed lifestyle. Media articles have shown that he
is a figure known to be linked to drug abuse, this was confirmed after he was
hospitalised for a drug overdose.
Mabior is also the Director of the John Garang International
School and openly expresses the challenges regarding education in South Sudan.
His idea to help address the education problem is to replicate the Cuban
He was dismissed from his position in cabinet by Salva Kiir
Mayadrdit in August 2016; his removal strained the already subtle balance of
ethnicities in the Sudanese government.