May 27, 2014 (JUBA) – There are reports the rebel SPLM In Opposition have unveiled an interim leadership structure, with claims former environment minister Alfred Lado Gore has been appointed as interim deputy leader of the movement.
If appointed, Gore, who comes from Equatoria region, would deputise the rebel leader Riek Machar, who hails from the Upper Nile region, making him the second most powerful figure in the hierarchy of the almost six-month-old rebellion.
Other appointees reportedly include Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol and Hussein Maar Nyuot, who were designated the foreign affairs and humanitarian affairs portfolios respectively.
The eldest son of the founding leader of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Mabior John Gareng de Mabior, has been named as a spokesperson on political affairs, while Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang retains his position as spokesperson on military affairs and General Taban Deng Gai remains as head of the rebel delegation for peace talks.
However, Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, said the claims are mere speculation, saying the movement’s top leadership had yet to formally name any individuals for its committee positions.
“Some of the contents in the statement reported are mere speculations because our chairman has not yet officially named [the] heads of the respective eight committees in the structure of the movement,” Dak told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.
“Our leadership is still making consultations on the proper appointment of such heads of committees, their respective deputies and secretaries,” he added.
There are reports that several members will be selected as representatives of the movement to several key African countries, namely member states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the east African bloc mediating the peace process, with representatives also expected to be appointed to South Africa and Nigeria.
Members of the South Sudanese diaspora community as its representatives to key Western allies, as well major international agencies such as the United Nations, European Union, the Arab League and the African Union.
Rebel sources say the structure aims to be an inclusive and representative body for the whole country.
“The composition of the interim structure represents not only the entire South Sudan just as a country but [is] clearly reflecting [the] diversity of our people. It is a structure representing all faces of our people,” a key rebel official told Sudan Tribune on Monday from Addis Ababa.