SPLM-IO official slams Opposition Alliance over leadership greed

Eng. Farouk Gatkuoth Kam (File photo)

Eng. Farouk Gatkuoth Kam (File photo)

May 12th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – A main armed South Sudan opposition official under the leadership of the country’s former First Vice President Riek Machar Teny has slammed the Opposition Alliance for putting first their need to lead the Alliance although the SPLM-IO was already in the bush when they joined them.

Prominent opposition official Eng. Farouk Gatkouth was speaking Edward Andrew Ashiek on a Facebook live video when he personally slammed the alliance.

“It is different to what brother Changson [Gabriel Changson Lew] said,” he said of what happened that let the SPLM-IO to not be part of the Opposition Alliance.

“Changson himself was a member of the National Leadership Council of the [SPLM] IO, he had a minor disagreement with Riek Machar and he left to form something like a party. The really is that if I come to your house, I cannot claim the leadership of your house,” he said.

He stressed that when they came [those of Chanson] to the bush, we welcomed them stressing that the enemy of your enemy is your friend.

“When they came to the bush, we welcomed them because the enemy of your enemy is your friend but not to the extend that they takeover the leadership of my house,” he said pointing out that Changson Lew has no soldiers on the ground for him to claim leadership of an armed opposition movement.

Last year a number of non armed and armed opposition groups formed the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) but the SPLM-IO leadership under Riek Machar refused to be a part pointing to a demand by minor political groups to lead the Alliance.

The alliance includes Federal Democratic Party, National Salvation Front, National Democratic Movement, People’s Democratic Movement, South Sudan Liberation Movement, South Sudan National Movement for Change, South Sudan Patriotic Movement, South Sudan United Movement and the United Democratic Alliance.

South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013 after forces loyal to the country’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit and his then Governor of Northern Bahr Al-Ghazal State Gen. Paul Malong Awan went door-to-door in the capital Juba killing civilians belonging to the Nuer ethnic group sparking a nation-wide protests from top army generals from the Nuer leading to a civil war.

A peace agreement signed in August 2015 by President Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar and negotiated under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU) in presence of Troika and other international observers collapsed in July 2016 following fighting at the presidential palace in Juba “J1”.

The IGAD has employed an initiative called High-Level Revitalization Forum to bring back the peace agreement. Previous rounds of the HLRF has been unsuccessful and the IGAD said it expect the warring parties to negotiate on the last round on 17th of May. This week, the IGAD invited all the stakeholders to Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for consultations for consultations.