Taban’s decision to remain in Juba in 2016 saved the country from collapse – spokesman

Press Secretary in the office of the FVP, Agel Machar while holding a press conference in Juba on Tuesday, February 26th 2019 (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

February 26th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The decision by South Sudan’s First Vice President Taban Deng Gai to remain behind in Juba and continue peace implementation with President Salva Kiir in the aftermath of July 2016 J1 fighting saved the country from disintegration, his spokesman said today.

Agel Machar, First Vice-President Taban Deng’s spokesman was speaking on Tuesday afternoon during a press conference he called for in Juba to respond to a number of allegations by Gen. Gathoth Gatkouth against his boss yesterday.

On Monday, former South Sudan Minister of Labor and Public Service formed an interim body to take over the leadership of the SPLM-IO faction in Juba from the First Vice-President Taban Deng whom he accused of illegally dissolving the body without their knowledge.

“H.E. Gen. Taban Deng Gai, chose to remain in Juba in 2016 and this act of bravery and patriotism avoided plunging the country back into the darkness of war and without a Government,” Machar said.

“It is irrefutable that, it is on the back of this courage that the current Revitalized Peace agreement is built,” he added.

He further condemned allegations by the ex-minister that the First Vice President is responsible for lost of funds saying Taban is ready to cooperate with any investigation into the matter.

“We condemn in the strongest terms possible the statements made yesterday alleging that there are forces loyal to Gen Taban who are perpetrating violence,” Machar  further said adding that they also condemns what he said was a malicious “lie that these funds were stolen, and to reassure the public we have members of our finance team in the audience to take questions after my statement, and are willing to cooperate with any request for information.”