Mar 27th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – Two senior officials of the SPLM-IO faction led by the South Sudan’s incumbent First Vice President Gen. Taban Deng Gai have defected to the SPLM-IO faction under the leadership of the former First Vice President Riek Machar, sources told the Nyamilepedia.
Hon. Tap Gatjiek Chiek, a member of parliament in the Transitional Legislative Assembly representing Rubkona County on the ticket of Taban’s SPLM-IO faction and Brig. Gen. Chabak Ruai are said to be seeking safety at the UN premise in the national capital Juba.
A source with the knowledge of their (Tap Gatjiek and Chabak Ruai) presence in the United Nations Protection of Civilian’s site in Juba told Nyamilepedia that the two fled to the UN protection of civilian site this morning after surviving an assassination attempt hours prior to their entrance to the site.
However, reasons behind their flight to the UN premise remain of speculations. Another source said the two had defected but other source said the two were seeking safety temporally before their safety could be guaranteed outside by the government.
Hon. Buay Keake Turoal, another member of parliament in the Transitional Legislative Assembly representing Rubkona County on the ticket of the SPLM-IO faction of Taban Deng Gai, denied any knowledge about the defection when asked for a comment by the Nyamilepedia and instead said he had learned about this in the social media this morning.
“I saw it in the media right now” he said.
Turoal added that he only saw social media reports only about Hon Tap Gatjiek but heard or saw nothing regarding General Chabak Ruai.
The high-level defection came a day after Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) submit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa decided to release the SPLM-IO Chairman Riek Machar who is being forcefully detained in South Africa by the IGAD in hope to end armed hostilities in the country.