High ranking military officers allied to Lam Akol joins Machar’s SPLM-IO
April 15th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – A group of high ranking military officers from the National Democratic Movement (NDM) under the leadership of the former chairman of the then SPLM-DC – now Democratic Change Party, Lam Akol Ajawin, has announced their intention to abandon the NDM and join the SPLM-IO under the leadership of the former First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
In a press briefing conducted in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, the 5-men team led by Lt. General Amme Nare Lopole, who has been the Chairman of the Military Command Council of Lam Akol’s NDM/A and in presence of the SPLM-IO Director of Information Mr Puok Both Balaung, announced the shift in allegiance.
Pouk Both,who attended the press conference on behalf of the SPLM-IO welcoming team, said in a statement that the SPLM-IO welcomes the decision.
“The leadership of the SPLM/A (IO) would like to cease this opportunity to announce to the SPLM/A (IO) members and the public at large, that Lt. General Amme Nare Lopole, has rejoined the people’s movement (SPLM/A IO) on 14/4/ 2018,” Pouk announced.
The SPLM-IO Director of information said Gen. Amme Nare was accompanied by the following military officers beside the NDM/A’s Deputy Chairman for Training Lt. Gen. monto Abdullah Tongo.
- Deputy Chairman for Training, Maj. Gen. Nuer Tai Kam,
- NDM MCC, Director for Operation, Maj. Gen. Luciano Kwaei Kwan,
- NDM MCC, Director for Administration, Maj. Gen. Martin Ali Nyibel,
- NDM MCC, Director for Signals. Brig. Gen. Alier Deng Abeth Alier,
- NDM MCC, Deputy Director for Education.
In August 2016, Dr Lam Akol Ajawin fled the capital Juba and went to Nairobi, Kenya, where he announced resignation from his SPLM-DC and the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) which has been boycotted by many. Since that time, Lam formed a movement called NDM/A and called on president Kiir to go.
In January 2017, clashes between Lam’s newly formed movement led to the death of a senior military leader allied to Lam Akol. Maj. Gen. Gabriel Gatwech Chan (also known as Tanginye) who was the Chief of General Staff of the Lam Akol’s forces.
Lt. Gen. Tanginye was killed after forces he commanded clashed with forces loyal to the SPLM-IO under the command of Johnson Olony in the northern part of the Upper Nile States. Most of his senior officers were killed, however, Dr. Lam downplayed his role in their death.
Since the death of the then Chief of general staff, Lt. Gen. Gabriel Tanginye, NDM ceased to operate on the ground in South Sudan but its political wing recently participated in peace revitalization forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.