October 19, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— Four Honourable Members from South Sudan National Legislative Assembly (SSLA) pledged their allegiance to SPLM/A-IO under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, they declared their defection on Tuesday in a Press they held in Khartoum.
The honourable members alleged that President Salva Kiir has brought about ever growing socio-political, economic security and dire humanitarian situations in South Sudan, charging that former First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, who has a vision for reform, peace and harmony, is the victim of reform agenda.
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South Sudan National Assembly MPs who joined Machar are from Western Equatoria, Unity and Upper Nile Unity States.
- Hon. Gatwech Lam Puoch, Former Chairperson, Energy, Mining, Commerce & Investment in South Sudan National Legislative Assembly, Constituency No. 12 Nasir County, Upper Nile State.
- Hon. Pasquale Clement Batali, Former Chairperson, Agriculture, Environment, Natural Resources in South Sudan National Legislative Assembly, Nagero Constituency, Western Equatoria State
- Hon. Justin Joseph Marona, Head of Macroeconomics in the Committee of Economy, Development and Finance in South Sudan National Legislative Assembly, Maridi Constituency, Western Equatoria State. Former Member of Pan African Parliament (PAP), Committee of Justice and Human Rights – Republic of South Sudan
- Martin Mabil Kong, Chairperson, Physical Infrastructure in South Sudan National Legislative Assembly, Rubkona County, Unity State
Upon the declaration of their allegiance to SPLM/A-IO, the defected Members of national Parliament said they have witnessed in Juba what they described as “lack of political good will” under President Kiir to implement peace agreement. The government under Kiir’s leadership has failed to provide services, security and sabotages the freedom of press and expression. They strongly charged that what transpired on July 8, 2016 at Presidential Palace (J1) was assassination attempt on the life of Dr. Riek Machar by Salva Kiir and his group.
“The anti-peace groups in Juba under the leadership of President/Kiir and Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) and others who wanted our country to be ruled under chaos and ethnocentric doctrine through divide and rule put the last nail on the government on July 8th, 2016 and declared the peace dead. We therefore, declare our defection from authoritarian and kleptocratic regime of President Salva Kiir and join the people’s movement, the SPLM/A-IO under the visionary leadership of Dr. Riek Machar Teny…” read part of three pages statement seen by Nyamilepedia.
Kiir’s government has been hit by series of defections of military and political leaders, most notably are Gen. Khalid Onuloki Botrous, deputy head of the SSDM-Cobra, who quit the government and joined Machar in September 2016 with more than 16,000 troops. Gen. John Welarum of SSDM-Cobra faction later pledged his alliegiance to Machar with over 5,000 force. Gen. Khalid Onuloki Botrous and Gen. John Welarum are both from Murle ethnic group in South Sudan.