SPLM-IO diplomat abandons Machar, join Changson’s FDP

Gabriel Changson Lew Chang, Chairman of the FDP and the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (File Photo)

December 17th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – A opposition diplomat of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by the country’s former First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon has announced, along with others, that they have left the main armed opposition and joined the Federal Democratic Party (FDP) led by Gabriel Changson Lew Chang.

Ambassador Kang Gatkuoth Kang said in a statement that they have fed up with the kind of leadership they experience in the Machar’s SPLM-IO and praised Gabriel Changson for his ‘wise’ leadership.

“We took this decision after serious deliberations among ourselves and a serious consultation with the leadership of FDP/SSAF,” the statement signed by Kang Gatkuoth Kang partly read.

The statement further said they are optimistic that South Sudan under Changson could find a lasting peace and stability and can also afford to avoid disintegration.

“We are therefore convinced that under such leader, our country can hope to find a lasting peace and social harmony which have been eluding up to now,” they added.

Kang claimed in the statement that he joined the Federal Democratic Party (FDP) along with 40 military officers and over 300 soldiers, a claim the Nyamilepedia could not independently verify.

South Sudan descended into a bloody civil war exactly five years ago following a flare-up of violence during a national convention of the ruling SPLM party at Nyakuron Cultural Centre in the country’s capital Juba.

The disagreement at the political level later instigated armed confrontation among Presidential Guards Unit also known Tiger Battalion. The fighting was fought along ethnic lines with the Dinka members of the Battalion supporting President Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and the Nuer members supporting former Vice-President Machar, an ethnic Nuer.

The fighting later let to ethnic massacres against the Nuer in the capital Juba by a state-sponsored militia known Mathiang Anyor who were deployed to the capital few days before the fighting started to executed what the African Union said was a state policy to clean Juba of its Nuer population.

A peace agreement signed in August 2015 failed in July 2016 following fighting at South Sudan’s Presidency between guards loyal to President Kiir and then First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar. A revitalized version of the agreement was signed in September 2018.