July 21, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– A report read on South Sudan national television this evening alleges that the SPLM/SPLA in opposition has replaced its top leadership, the First Vice President, Chairman and Commander in Chief of SPLM/SPLA in Opposition, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, with Taban Deng Gai, the Minister of Mining of the Transitional Government of National Unity.
According to SPLM/A-IO officials, who speak under “pressure and massive coercion”, the leaders have lost contact with their chairman since 10 days ago, and therefore Taban Deng Gai should lead the implementation of peace agreement for the opposition.
Speaking today on SSTV, William Ezekiel, who is from the outraged Collo Community, came out on behave of his community to show support of Taban Deng Gai as an appointed successor of the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar.
Although Mr. William was a spokesperson for SPLM/SPLA-IO advanced team, he spoke today on a weaker position as a member of Collo Community in SPLM/SPLA-IO to show support for Gen. Taban Deng Gai and also for President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
“On our side as collo members in IO we see also opportunity to express our full support, unwavering support for comrade Gen. Taban Deng Gai, SPLM/SPLA-IO negotiator and minister of mining to resume responsibilities in the absence of Dr. Riek Machar Teny” Ezekiel said.
“We are now cut of from contact, we don’t have any contact with him. The last time I talked to him was almost 10 days ago and we cannot remain while waiting for the unknown to happen” He continued.
According to James Gatdet Dak, the Press Secretary of SPLM/SPLA-IO Chairman, their leaders in Juba are under detention and being used by the enemy to speak against the will of their leaders, Dr. Riek Machar.
In response to Gen. Taban’s televised speech against foreign intervention, Gatdet disown the former chief negotiators and said Taban was speaking for Salva Kiir and not for the SPLM/SPLA-IO moment
“The SPLM-IO and its leadership are for deployment of a third buy topamax price party force in Juba. First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, has been very clear about this. Even in his cessation of hostilities declaration on July 11, 2016, he put it clearly as a proposal that a third party force should be deployed in Juba to create a buffer between his forces and those of President Salva Kiir,” Gatdet said.
Like many supporters of SPLM/SPLA-IO gatdet doubts if Taban is still loyal to the opposition or he is just speaking under death threat in Juba.
“If Honourable Taban Deng is still loyal to his boss, Dr. Machar, he should have known this position and should have respected the decision of his leadership. Unfortunately, it seems he speaks on behalf of President Salva Kiir rather than on behalf of the SPLM-IO leadership. We should ignore his anti-third party statement as not representing the position of the SPLM-IO,” he said.
According to reliable sources, Ezekiel William and other vulnerable officials of SPLM/SPLA-IO in Juba are being used by Kiir’s “unknown gunmen” to say what pleases president Kiir and his supporters.
“This is a big change of event. Not like 2013 when President Kiir announced that it is a coup and goes ahead to arrest politicians who were loyal to Mr. Machar. This time, there is a change in strategy. Although Kiir lied that Machar had a gun and his forces started the shooting, he is careful not to say that it was a coup again because that transpired badly in 2013. He is also careful not to say it was an assassination attempt on him” Said David McClain, a policy expert on African affairs.
“Again, the Jieng leadership do not want to arrest Machar’s officials or kill them because the international community will condemn it. So they are using them for a mere advertise campaign to defame their leader and weaken the peace agreement” he continued.
In other reports, Salva Kiir government has given Dr. Riek Machar up to 48 hours to return to Juba to continue with peace implementation.