Nov 18, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — A senior military general, who was loyal to Dr. Riek Machar’s SPLA-IO, Gen Peter Lok Tang Reat and undisclosed number of officers have defected citing “humiliation” as the main cause of their defection.
Gen. Peter Lok Tang, one of the commanding officers who evacuated Machar from Juba in December 2013, calls on other senior officers to abandon the SPLM/A-IO.
Despite the change of allegiance, Lok assures that he will remain loyal to the people and the cause the SPLM/A-IO has been pursuing except that it won’t be under Machar.
“This information goes to all our people, supporters and everybody that has been with us, we will remain loyal to you day and night and we reaffirm to you that we will support the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement with all the peace loving South Sudanese” Gen. Lok Tang said.
Lok further assures other officers, whom he believes their contributions have been ignored by Dr. Riek Machar, of his comradeship and support.
“However, it is worth mentioning that we will stand with any SPLA-IO comrade whose contributions are ignored by Riek Machar and his clique” Lok said.
South Sudan’s First Vice President, Machar, commands popular support among the Nuer, Equatorian and Western Bahr el Ghazal communities; however, his popularity has been shrinking since 2015 as senior officers and politicians defect.
While most of these officers and politicians have gone without salaries or any other forms of payments for years, and their families are struggling, they deny that their defections have anything to do with lack of appointments and promotions.
While Gen. Lok cites “humiliation” for his defection, he also believes that his contribution has been “ignored” by Dr. Machar.
At least four senior officials have defected from Machar’s SPLM/A-IO within the last two weeks. None of the defectors secured appointments into MP or ministerial positions at the state and county levels that are currently being divided among the parties.
This is the second largest wave of defection following the January-February defections when the national government was formed.