May 6, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), has never been a bad political organization, a senior member of the Machar-led movement said Wednesday.
Duer Tut Duer, a member of the National Liberation Council (NLC) who has been an outspoken critic of the way the movement is run however confessed that there is a bad leadership in the group and on one hand wondered why people were leaving when the current disorganization within the group has been their making.
“Let us distinguish between the SPLM-IO as an Organization and the Leadership of the SPLM-IO as group of People. We know why we are still in the SPLM-IO, but we don’t know why people are leaving SPLM-IO,” Duer said in a social media Facebook post seen by Nyamilepedia.
“SPLM-IO has never been a bad organization, but the Political leadership of the SPLM-IO has been a bad Leadership because it was made up of position fighters and position seekers, this is why the differences between the political leaders occurred in Juba during the distribution of political positions or constitutional posts (formation of the government),” the senior SPLM-IO politician said.
The outspoken official said two senior members of the group sidelined in the current division of powers and in the SPLM-IO decision making processes are still in the group apparently referring to himself and likely Eng. Farouq Gatkuoth.
The two are senior members of the main armed opposition group who have been sidelined in the political decision-making process in the group and in the division of cake twice.
“Those who were sidelined in the SPLM-IO by the leadership of Riek Machar, because of their opinions were only two leaders, luckily enough the two are still in the SPLM-IO until today and they will remain in the SPLM-IO, because they are not in the SPLM-IO for positions, but for a cause,” he wrote.
Though he did not mention himself and the other person [Farouq Gatkuoth] by name, it is apparent that Duer was referring to himself and Gatkuoth.
He and Farouq were left out during the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) in 2016 after a peace agreement signed in August 2015 in Addis Ababa provided for a power sharing government between the government of President Salva Kiir and Machar’s SPLM-IO.
Duer further criticized Machar and mocked the SPLM-IO defectors for once treating Machar – the now South Sudan First Vice President – like a “king.”
“I remember most of the political defectors were the best friends and advisers of Riek Machar, they even worked hard to push Riek Machar to sideline the other Leaders,” he added.
He reiterated that Machar “has been a bad leader because the SPLM-IO political leaders who are now defecting, one after another, were [once] treating Riek Machar like a king; now when Riek Machar started to behave or act like a king those leaders start to wonder. You should not be wondering [because] it was your making.
“Now that, the position seekers and the position fighters including Riek Machar himself have surrendered or defected to the SPLM-IG, we are going to establish a new leadership to reorganize, restructure and reform the SPLM-IO to become a real force of change and a credible alternative to the current political setups in the country.”