First Vice-President Taban undermining Nuer unity – General Gathoth Gatkuoth

Self-imposed SPLM-IO (TGONU) leader Gen. Gathoth Gatkouth speaking during a press conference in Juba (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

April 23rd 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – Former South Sudan labor minister, General Gathoth Gatkuoth, has accused the country’s First Vice-president, General Taban Deng Gai, of undermining Nuer unity questioning how such unity could be possible when the First Vice President has made it difficult for Nuer politicians in government to unite.

Last year, General Gathoth Gatkuoth was dismissed as the minister of labor and public service and was replaced with former army chief, General James Hoth Mai. Hoth was early elected the Nuer community Chairperson in Juba, something strongly opposed by General Gatkuoth citing the absence of the majority Nuer population in Juba.

Speaking during a funeral service for General Peter Gatdet Yaka who died in the Sudanese capital Khartoum last week of heart attack, General Gatkuoth said Nuer unity is impossible accusing the First Vice President of undermining it.

“How can we have this needed Nuer unity when [the First Vice President] Taban has made it a mere day dream within us here in the government in Juba?” he asked.  “Taban is undermining it and has – as such – killed the Nuer unity that is desperately needed today.”

He accused the FVP of creating problems between him and his successor Hoth Mai who was appointed by Taban as the labor minister questioning why a person from another party could be appointed to occupy a position that belongs to a different party.

“Now, Taban is creating problems between me and my brother Gathoth Mai. He dismissed me and appointed Gathoth Mai as a replacement despite the indisputable fact that he is from the SPLM faction led by President Salva Kiir, so I am surprised why he doing this even when our party has not authorized this,” he said.

“We should all ask Taban why he appointed a person from a different party to occupy our seat if he didn’t meant to create misunderstanding between us. So, this is the reality and I am ready to say it and defense because it’s a Nuer tradition to say the truth even if it mean people die for it,” he added.

‘Blatant lies’

Speaking during the same service, South Sudan’s Interior Minister, General Chiengjiek Gey, accused General Gathoth of lying saying he is not the right person to complaint about the appointment of  General James Hoth Mai as the minister of labor following his dismissal saying he is not a member of the SPLM-IO led by the First Vice President Taban Deng Gai.

“All what he just said here are lies and he should not have any problem with Hoth Mai because of his appointment by Taban as the minister of labor because he don’t belong to the movement led by Taban. He should not have come and stand here claiming he have problems with Taban because he is not a member of Taban’s group,” Gey said.

“And again, if you can’t be removed because of your wrong doings, then what is a government in your own sense? If I am removed today I Chiengjiek, I cannot come to complain to the Bul community about this just because I have been removed because of my wrong deeds,” he added.