FVP’s office denies Kiir’s Lobonok comments delayed party reunification

Press Secretary in the Office of South Sudan’s Vice President, Agel Machar, (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

December 30th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – The office of the First Vice-President denied on Saturday claims that comments made against the FVP Taban Deng Gai by President Salva Kiir Mayardiit during SPLM retreat in Lobonok early this month delayed the reunification process of the SPLM party.

South Sudan President, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, early this month slammed the SPLM-IO led by the First Vice President Taban Deng Gai for not following legal procedures in dissolving their SPLM-IO faction.

Early in May, FVP Taban Deng Gai announced the dissolution of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) under his leadership and later announced his merger with the faction led by President Salva Kiir Mayardiit who later became reluctant in admitting them into the ruling faction’s Political Bureau.

Speaking to the Nyamilepedia on Saturday, the Press Secretary in the office of the First Vice President, Agel Machar, said the delay in the reunification process was as result of a request from the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who said 2015 peace deal must first be revitalized to allow for the return of opposition leader crucial in the reunification process.

“It’s not true, the reunification process was put on hold on the request of the guarantors in person of President Museveni when he asked for postponement of the National Liberation Council meeting in May 2018 for a period of 45 days. This was to allow the ARCISS to get revitalized first, giving a chance [of return] for other SPLM leaders who are kept out of the country by war,” Machar told the Nyamilepedia from Juba on Saturday.

“I don’t believe President Mayardiit’s Lobonok remarks are out of place. The reunification process was put on hold back on 3rd [of] May this year at the request of president Museveni [and] not by the President’s remarks in Lobonok,” he added.

Machar who said he will not comment directly on President Salva Kiir’s Lobonok comments reiterated the commitment of the President and the FVP to the Arusha SPLM Reunification Agreement saying as prominent opposition leaders are due in the capital Juba within four months, he believe the process will be restarted.

“Both President Mayardiit and Gen Taban Deng are committed to the Arusha agreement on the Reunification of SPLM. Now that the R-ARCISS has been signed and all of the SPLM leaders are expected to be in Juba in about 4 months, I’m sure the Reunification process will be restarted and the finalized,” he added.