Rebel commander removes Costello Garang as SSPM leader

Rebel commander Gen. Abdel Baggi Agany (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

February 27th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – A rebel commander of the South Sudan Patriotic Movement (SSPM) led by Dr. Costello Garang has declared himself as the new leader of the group declaring Garang as illegitimate.

Gen. Abdel Bagi Ayii Akol accused Garang of staying away from the movement for two years from accusing him of making unilateral orders that he said undermines the group’s rules and leadership ethics.

Gen. Ayii accused Dr. Garang of working against the revitalized peace agreement the group had signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa as part of South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) in September last year.

SSPM denies development

However, in a statement issued on Monday, the SSPM Chairman, Costello Garang, said Abdel Baggi has never been a member of the group saying he was only attached to the political activities of the opposition group fighting the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardiit.

“Abdel Baggi Akol Agany is not a member of South Sudan Patriotic Movement/Army (SSPM/A). He is an imminent elder detached from political activities of SSPM/A. There are clear procedures for anybody who wishes to join SSPM, you don’t start by dismissing legitimate leader in the media,” said a statement signed by Garang.

“According to our interim constitution, only the leader of SSPM/A has the powers to call for convention. We want to confirm that Dr. Costello Garang Ring Lual will call for the convention when time is appropriate,” added the statement.

The statement further reiterated the group’s commitment to the revitalized peace agreement signed with President Salva Kiir last September in Ethiopia.

“In conclusion, SSPM led by Dr. Costello Garang Ring Lual, signed the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement and there is no provision to open up R-RCISS for renegotiations to make Abdel Baggi Akol Agany a signatory to the agreement,” the statement said.