Splinter Group Crises: Changson Cannot Dismiss Even His Own Secretary ~ Gen. Gathoth Gatkuoth
Jan 06, 2015(Nyamilepedia) —- Former deputy Chief of Staff for Logistic of SPLA-IO and the current Deputy Chief of Staff of South Sudan Armed Forces(SSAF), Gen. Gat-hoth Gatkuoth Hothnyang warns Hon. Gabriel Changson Lew, the Chairman who recently dismissed him from the party, to stay away from the leadership of Federal Democratic Party(FDP) and its military wing, SSAF.
Gen. Gathoth was responding to Hon. Changson’s statement that dismisses the general and the entire delegation that was recently sent to Juba to negotiate their return to the country under the leadership of President Salva Kiir.
According to Gabriel Changson, a former Minister, who served various portfolios in Salva Kiir’s government, the delegation was sent without his knowledge as the chairman and therefore such group must be ignored by the Juba’s regime.
To Gen. Gathoth who currently deputizes 1st. Lt. Gen. Peter Gatdet, Changson mus be ignored by the supporters of SSAF/FDP and the general public.
“I therefore call for all the supporters of FDP/SSAF to ignore the Press Release of Changson because that was not agreed upon by the party members….He has no power to disown or dismiss any member of the Federal Democratic Party even his own office secretary” Gathoth explains in a Press Release extended to Nyamilepedia.
According to Gen. Gathoth, the delegation is in Juba to talk with “the President of South Sudan” based on the position of SSAF. The group will return to Nairobi on Friday.
Gathoth warns Changson that his group has only one chairman and that is Gen. Peter Gatdet Yaka who has been residing in Khartoum since his defection last year.
“Hon Changson must know that FDP/SSAF has only one chairman and commander in chief which is General Peter Gatdet Yaka. Any claim from Changson is based on his own interest and it is ill advised.” Gathoth explains.
Originally, the group endorsed Hon. Changson to lead them as their interim chairman with hope that the political tycoon could represent them in IGAD Peace talks, however, the talks come to an end with the signing of a Peace Agreement that never recognize their influence in August 2015.
Since the signing of the Peace Agreement, Hon. Changson distanced himself from the group as internal differences continue to widen in the camp of defectors whose vision was to form a military alliance with some generals under the leadership of Gen. Paul Malong Awan, the current chief of general staff of SPLA on Salva Kiir’s side.
The generals in both camps intended to overthrow the principles on both sides with intention to form a military government, a chance they literally lost at the onset of the conflict in December 2013.
Gen. Gathoth calls on Hon. Changson to resign his position in SSAF as the Chairman of political affairs and resurrect his party, the United Democratic Salvation Front-Mainstream(UDSF/M), if he feels so.
“If Changson is not happy to work under the leadership of SSAF , he is free to resign and resume his party work of United Democratic Salvation Front-Mainstream(UDSF/M) than making unnecessary propaganda and he should not create division within the leadership of the party.”
“Therefore Changson should not use propaganda to impose himself when the leadership did not give him the mandate. We know him as a member but not as the chairman of the party. Am the Deputy Chairman and Commander In Chief of SSAF/FDP” Gen. Gathoth continue.
Gen. Gathoth believes that the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition failed because of “civilian leadership and technocratic personality”, a mistake the generals wish not to repeat with Hon. Gabriel Changson Lew Chang.
“We cannot repeat the mistake of April December 2014 by endorsing somebody who does not have a military background to lead the Federal Democratic Party/South Sudan Army Force” Gathoth said referring to his former chairman, 1st. Lt. Gen. Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
Many observers believe that the generals and the elderly politicians were mobilized and bribed by a government sent agent, Brig. Gen. Gatwech Puoch Mar, to overthrow the leadership of SPLM/SPLA in Opposition and rejoin Salva Kiir led government, a popular speculation that government officials deny.
In other reports, the SSAF/FDP delegation in Juba has met and presented their position to President Salva Kiir yesterday and are now expected to retreat to their base in Nairobi to organize their complete return.
It’s yet to be seen if the generals, who brutally fought and “wiped out Mathiang Anyoor” and slain many government generals, would return to Juba without full guarantees.