South Sudan’s Machar Reshuffles Members of Opposition’s Joint Defense Board
January 9, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s First Vice President Designate, Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of the main armed opposition, SPLM/A in Opposition has replaced two members who have been representing the Opposition in the Joint Defense Board.
According to reshuffle documents, circulated on social media yesterday, Machar has removed the Co-Chair of the Defense Board, 1st Lt. Gen. James Koang Chuol Ranleey, the current Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration, and replaced him with the 1st. Lt. Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam, the current Deputy Chief of Staff of SPLA(IO) for Operation.
Dr. Machar has also removed Lt. Gen. Yiei Dak Wie, the Director General of the SPLM/A(IO) National Security and Intelligence Service, and replaced him with Brig. Gen. Pal Yiech of the SPLM/A(IO) National Security and Intelligence Service.
It is not clear as to what provoked these reshuffles, however, according to the SPLA(IO) spokesman, Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, deployments in the army are regular administrative procedure.
“I can confirm that Lt. Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam, the SPLA-IO deputy chief of staff for operations, and Brig. Gen. Pal Yiech have been appointed to the JDB. I don’t know the reason for the replacement that happened, but deployment is a normal administrative procedure in the military,” Lam explained.
The Joint Defense Board is the highest military chamber that is tasked with command and control of the army during the pre-transitional period and it is co-chaired by the SPLA-IO and the SSPDF.
On the SSPDF side, the Co-Chairman of the JDB is the Chief of SSPDF and on the SPLA(IO) it has been tasked to the deputies so far.
Despite slow progress in implementation of the security arrangement, number of states and their boundaries, the Co-Chairs of the two main militaries in the country have travelled to many parts of the country, accessed the army and now more progress are in process to finalize cantonment of the forces and begin their training.