South Sudan army defectors call for abolition of 32 states, urges Kiir “to go”
October 27th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan army defectors have called for the abolition of the country’s controversial 32 states and urged President Salva Kiir Mayardit to pack and leave saying the head of state has failed to unite the people.
On Thursday, a group of South Sudan army officers let by Brig. Gen. Kawai Babuoth Ruot said in a statement that they have defected and that they were angered by the ongoing corruption, carnage and the 32 states which they said threatens the country’s security and the peaceful co-existence of its diverse citizens.
The high-level military defection came a week after a lawmaker in Northern Liech state parliament, Mangok Tap Diew, resigned citing what he said is corruption and land grabbing.
“Today, on October 24, we would like to announce to the People of the Republic of South Sudan and the world at large that we joined Federal Unionists Liberation Front (FULF) under Col. Dickson Gatluak Jock Nyuot, the Chairman and Commander-In-Chief from the South Sudan People Defense Forces (SSPDF) in accordance with the national interest to offer a vital, positive role and help build a future that our country deserves at this very moment of national crisis and the rapid impoverishment of the people of South Sudan,” the statement dated October 24th and extended to Nyamilepedia partly reads.
The defectors said a number of attempts have been made to transform the country’s fragile system but have – under the leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit – been jeopardized by tribalists who don’t want the country’s welfare.
“In the course of the last few years, numerous attempts have been made to improve the rule of law, accountability and transparency in the country but all these have failed,” the statement said.
The statement further accused the country’s First Vice-President of nepotism saying: “Therefore, the lack of vision, accountability and political processes under the autocratic leadership of Salva Kiir Mayardit and Taban Deng Gai have today made us to quit.”
“In 2016 after the collapsed of the ARCISS, President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Gen. Taban Deng formed what they described as Juba-based Coalition government and as a result of that coalition, Gen. Taban was left with no option other than integrating us (Gojam battalions) into SSPDF.”
The statement added: “Our policies failed; it’s our believe that a radical reform to the system is needed in the country.”
Speaking to Nyamilepedia separately this morning, Gen. Babuoth said he defected with a good number of forces but a number of loyalists were arrested yesterday by government security operatives at Nhialdiu Payam and were being detained at a military base there.
“We have defected from President [Salva Kiir’s] government with [a] good number of forces in Tong of Northern Liech state. Our forces are now along side of Rubnyegai and Tuochrur of Rubkona county,” he said.
“We want the country to be completely reformed from the current tribal base-line. President Kiir have failed to govern and unite the people of South Sudan, instead he promoted tribal violence,” he said adding: “We want him to go and give chance to others who wants to do something to this country.”