South Sudan: A senior SPLM-DC Joins SPLM/SPLA-IO
Updated at 9:46Am, 23rd Dec, 2014(PT)
Dec 23, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — A senior member of South Sudan’s SPLM for Democratic Change, SPLM-DC, has joined the South Sudan resistance movement, the SPLM/SPLA-IO, under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
James Mawich Bichok, who has served as SPLM-DC representative to Canada and as a member of the National Council, has switched allegiance to SPLM/SPLA.
“It has been seven years since I joined the SPLM-DC as a committed member and a high ranking senior party loyalist. I even served as a Canada Representative and National Council. However, my time has now come to leave the SPLM-DC and join the victims who have been forced into hiding by a dictatorship regime in Juba and who barely escaped with their lives on December 15, 2013, Dr. Riek Machar and General Taban Deng Gai.” Bichok explains
The main reason for defection, as Bichok explained to Nyamilepedia’s editorial team, is to “have freedom to fight for freedom.”
Bichok emphasizes that by joining the SPLM-SPLA [in opposition], he will have more chances to join the SPLM’s military wing, the SPLA, if he wishes to push for change through bullets.
According to Bichok, the SPLM/SPLA [in opposition] gives politicians and the people of South Sudan the freedom to challenge Salva Kiir’s government through dialogue and/or through barrel of guns.
“I am leaving the SPLM-DC, because, I want to devote my time fully without hesitation to contribute openly and freely. He (Dr. Machar) had managed to escape the well-laid systemic plans of Kiir and his evil friend, Museveni of Uganda, to eliminate Dr. Machar.” Said Bichok
The politician believes that “President Kiir has massacred his own people who voted him into power.” And therefore, “without a doubt, the President has lost his legitimacy as a President given the mass killings he has inflicted on the Nuer tribe” – an account that Salva Kiir denies.
The president admits that he recruited and equipped a “reserved force”, known as Gelweng or Gelbeny, to fight and defend the people and their property in places like Bor and Malakal.
Coincidentally, the president put 171 experienced army and police generals on a reserved list, between March and April 2013, due to lack of budget.
It remains unclear if the president anticipated a civil war, however, the regime has announced several coups in the past before the main allegation in December 2013 set the country on fire.
The former SPLM-DC, James Mawich, pledges that he has considered his decision in depth and therefore it is final.
“Therefore, after much introspection I have made my decision to join the people’s choice movement. I always go back to the serenity prayer, “God give me the strength to change that which I need to change, the patience to accept that which I cannot change, and above all the wisdom to know the difference.””Bick explains.
Given his past experiences and connections within Canada, Bichok believes that he will push the Canadian government to impose sanctions and/or arm embargo on the government of South Sudan.
“Given my diplomatic relationship, I will pursue the Canadian government to join the European Union to alienate the Kiir regime in Juba by supporting sanctions against the South Sudanese government since Kiir is not willing to move forward into peace.”Bichok said.
Bichok believes that South Sudan president has lost the SPLM vision, and hence, he is incompetence to lead the country.
“The Kiir regime has forgotten the twenty first century philosophy which is based on the premise of equality and that all possess the same basic rights, yet our basic rights have been violated by the South Sudanese government led by Kiir who is committing an ethnic purge against the Nuer nation.” Bichok said.
The former SPLM-DC elite calls on the people of South Sudan to support the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar Teny:
“I call upon the people of South Sudan who are actually still hiding behind the truth to come out plainly and support the leadership of Dr. RiekMachar and his team.” Bichok said.
While the chairman of SPLM-DC remains under house arrest in Juba, Bichok and other loyalists, and also the region and the international community have called on the government of Salva Kiir to let the DC chairman go, however, their efforts are yet to be returned.
The Chairman, Dr. Lam Akol, was given an amnesty to return from exile, a few weeks before the conflict broke out last year.
Following the conflict, Dr. Lam was appointed to be a member of government delegation to South Sudan peace talks in Addis Ababa, a relationship that was loosely maintained until the gap widen between the SPLM-DC and the SPLM-Juba.
While Dr. Lam has exchanged accusations with the government’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Michael Makuei, who is also the government spokesman, he has also been accused and “disowned” by members of political parties whom he represented in Addis Ababa peace process.
Unlike defections from Salva Kiir’s government, Bichok explains to Nyamilepedia that his former chairman, Dr. Lam, has been briefed over the phone of this decision. Although Lam would object, being under house arrest in Juba, the future of SPLM-DC remains fragile.