S. Sudan: Rifts emerge within Gen. Ochan Puot’s group in Juba

Gen. James Ochan Puot of SPLA-IO

April 18, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – Differences have emerged within the Provisional Military Political Council (PMPC) led by General General Ochan Puot who defected last year to joint president Salva Kiir’s government.

A senior member of the ruling SPLM party said senior members Ochan’s group were fighting over dwindling political gains and promises.

The PMCP was formed in August last year by General Ochan following his defection from the main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, led by now First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

The SPLM official said one of the feuding sides is spearheaded by Tor Mach and Gew Minylang. On the other are Hon Gatluak Riek and General Gatbel Kuash, the top heaviest weights in the entire group. The official said on condition of anonymity that General Ochan seems to be reluctant or took side in the emerging conflict to stamp his authority in the group as the reason for emerging and irreconcilable factional disputes under him.

The source squarely lays full blame on General Ochan Puot for “poorly managing differences of the two politically warring groups with greater potential to spill dangerously into the community level of Ciewau in Maiwut County, Upper Nile State.”

“This on-going division, if not urgently contained, augurs ill for the general welfare of civil population back home. While other Gajaak sections who previously joined this group of Ciewau clan are watching with nostalgia as they think of their next move should worse come to worst,” the source added.

“Not oblivious of ramifications their differences shall bring forth, the two groups failed to arrest the most explosive matter dividing them sharply down the middle. In the heart of the matter are security personnel who have swindled 800,000 USD President Kiir offered the group which heralded the down fall of SPLM/A-IO in 2019 as the sign of growing friendship.”

When asked about the recent defection of Dak Dup to the government and its significant impact on PMPC, the source said “few members welcome his move with open arms. With the rest receiving it with mix-reaction, especially the top most echelons of PMCP who fear Dak’s political weight and influence in Greater Gajaak.”

“His presence on the side of President Kiir is loathed by PMCP’s members who think he will diminish their chances of getting appointed to the best positions of their choice,” the source said.

In regards to role being played by Ezekiel Lol for the defection of Dak Dup to Kiir’s side of the government from SPLM/A-IO; the source said “of course Ezekiel was one of the instrumental architects of this project from the onset with an intention to achieve two goals. One is to ensure he is no longer alone wolf in the woods to be politically isolated and tarnished as a serial betrayer or killer in his constituency, a perfect category Dak falls into currently.”

“Similarly, Ezekiel wanted to prove to the leadership he is still an influential political rock star who can shake the SPLM/A-IO house, with the hope of being offered strategic political position in the most foreseeable future for the job well-done in taking the lead to dismantle the previously powerful armed opposition movement, SPLM/A-IO.

“Little do they know, he and General Taban Deng Gai, that government still keeps the record of failing it big time when they siphoned mammoth sums of money into their offshore personal bank accounts, said the high placed source. He also added in the same strength of his breathe that Ezekiel Lol forgot the fact that once president Kiir turned his back from a perceived thief, regardless of how much flatteringly clownish and cunning the thief is, he won’t grant you another window of opportunity to loot again.

“Ezekiel Lol furthermore forgets that this giant (Dak Dup) who has just joined ruling SPLM is a well indoctrinated former NCP cadre, endowed with immense cunning tricks to outmaneuver the politically half-baked individual like Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.”

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