Machar relieves Sobat state governor, appoints successor

Maj. Gen. James Banak Riang Lual (Photo courtesy)
Maj. Gen. James Banak Riang Lual (Photo courtesy)

May 15th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s prominent opposition leader and the head of the SPLM-IO has dismissed the governor of the opposition’s Sobat state and appointed a successor.

According to letters of relieve and appointment, Machar dismissed Maj. Chuol Lam Pouch and replaced him with Maj. Gen. James Banak Riang Lual with effect from the 14th May 2018. Machar also appointed Dr. Duol Tut Gor as the opposition’s deputy governor for the Sobat state.

The letter did not give any reason for the dismissals but sources told the Nyamilepedia that Chuol Lam antiucipates an appointment to a higher position.

Before his appointments as the SPLM-IO military governor of the Sobat state, Banak served as the undersecretary for the SPLM-IO’s National Committee for Finance, Economic Affairst, Commerce and Industry.

Machar in 2015 decided to divide South Sudan into 21 states based on former colonial districts whose borders were drawn by the British administration of the Sudan and subsequently introduced Federalism as the system in areas under the control of his forces.

South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013 after forces loyal to the country’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit and his then Governor of Northern Bahr Al-Ghazal State Gen. Paul Malong Awan went door-to-door in the capital Juba killing civilians belonging to the Nuer ethnic group sparking a nation-wide protests from top army generals from the Nuer leading to a civil war.

A peace agreement signed in August 2015 by President Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar and negotiated under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union (AU) in presence of Troika and other international observers collapsed in July 2016 following fighting at the presidential palace in Juba “J1” reportedly after President Kiir ordered a failed attempt to arrest the SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar.

Late last year, the IGAD decided to revive the peace agreement and had initiated a peace revival mechanism known as the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) to bring back to life the 2015 peace agreement. Previous rounds of the HLRF has been unsuccessful and the IGAD said it expect the warring parties to negotiate on the last round of talks on 17th of May.

Representatives of the negotiating parties are currently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after the mediation invited them for consultations.


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