Jan 18, 2016 (Nyamilepedia) —- Eng. Chol Tong Mayay, the former Governor of Lakes State and Member of Former Detainees (FDs), defects from his group and joins the other faction of SPLM under the leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardirt.
In a press release seen by Nyamilepedia, Chol Tong Mayay cites the SPLM spirit of Arusha Re-unification Agreement and consultation with his constituency as the main reasons behind his return to the SPLM under Kiir’s leadership.
“In the spirit of the Arusha Re-unification Agreement after consultations and with my constituency following the incorporation of the ARA into the constitution by the recently concluded SPLM 1st extraordinary convention, I here declare the end of my membership in the SPLM FDs/G10 and joining the re-unified SPLM under the leadership of H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit, Chairmaan of the SPLM and President of the Republic of South Sudan with effect from today 18th January, 2016,” says Chol Tong.
In respect to the Establishment Order 36/2015 that brought about the newly created 28 states, Chol Tong says the issue of 28 states is irreversible as it’s the popular demand of the people in the Republic of South Sudan.
“In as much as there may be challenges to it, we must accept the reality that it is an irreversible popular demand of our people and all efforts need to be put to addressing the technical and any other challenges that come with it.”
Deng Alor Kuol, a member of FDs nominated by his colleagues in G10 to head Foreign Affairs Ministry as per peace agreement signed in August 2015, trashed Kiir’s Establishment Order calling it divisive and will tear the country apart.
Chol Tong Mayay is not the first figure from the group to jump ship, Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, the current SPLM-IO Secretary for External Affairs defected on July 2, 2014 and joined SPLM/SPLA under the leadership of South Sudan former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon. Gatkuoth said his move was triggered by the unwanted events of December 15, 2013 terming it the darkest spot in the history of South Sudan, accused President Salva Kiir Mayardit of dragging the new nation into a war by recruiting, arming, and directing the Presidential Unit (Tiger Battalion), mainly from his home area, to disarm the Nuer component of the unit.
The number of FDs is decreasing, out of its two defected members to different parties of SPLM, the group’s leader Pagan Amum still lives in self-exile in the United States, and only time will tell whether FDs/G10 will maintain their political status as an independent bloc.
This report is compiled by Gatluak Pal Chuol, Nyamilepedia Associate Editor.