Lam Akol’s deputy joins Changson, group downplays effect
January 15th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – A deputy chairman of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) led by Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin on Monday resigned and joined the Federal Democratic Party (FDP) led by Changson Lew Chang, the de facto leader of SSOA.
In a statement issued on Monday, Dr. Sallam Al-Haj Abdalla Baballa, one of the group’s three deputy chairpersons along with the acting Secretary-General Eisa Mustafa said they have joined the group led by Changson, along with members of the group’s military wing.
“This is to inform the people of South Sudan and the world at large that, I Sallam Alhaj Abdalla Baballa, Eisa Mustafa Zarara , Mazamil Fadul Mlkhawi, additional to Eleven (11) officers and over three hundred and thirty-five soldiers (335), a number of members of the leadership council, members of Executive Committee and membership, have decided to join the Federal Democratic Party/South Sudan Armed Forces (FDPISSAF) under the wise and humble leadership of Hon. Gabriel Changson Chang,” the statement signed by Sallam, Eisa and Mazamil partly read.
“We took this decision after serious deliberations among ourselves and a serious consultation with the leadership of FDP/SSAF,” the statement added.
NDM downplays effect
However, in a statement issued the same day, the NDM official spokesman denied any connection between the defectors and members of the rebel forces on the ground saying the former doesn’t enjoy any support among the rebel troops.
“The three (3) are indeed members of the National Executive Committee but do not enjoy any support among our members. None of them has even visited our soldiers on the ground, let alone enjoying support among them,” the statement signed by Mut Turuk, the NDM spokesman, partly read.
The statement further said the group had cautioned Dr. Sallam over noticed contacts between them (the three individuals) and the group led by Changson Lew prior to the return of opposition leaders to Juba in October last year.
“We cautioned him against such machinations. But it seems he didn’t heed the advice. In Juba, he was conducting meetings with Gabriel Changson Chang despite the fact that the NDM and SSOA have severed relations with the SSOA break-away group under Gabriel Changson Chang,” the statement said claiming that Sallam has been contacting the government as well.
“We would like to assure our supporters and the public at large that the NDM will not be affected by the defection of the three (3) and their ilk. In a revolution, fellow travelers fall by the wayside and the revolutionaries persevere up to the end of the road. When the riding gets tough, only the tough get going,” the statement added.