JUBA – Former Thorow County Commissioner of the defunct SPLM-IO Sobat state, James Tharjiath Kun Luoth, and popular South Sudanese musician Michael Pal Riek, have declared their intention to join the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) Kitgwang faction led by former SPLA-IO chief of staff, General Simon Gatwech Dual.
In a statement to Sudans Post this afternoon, Tharjiath said he has “switch my allegiance and full support with the official consultations of my community to Kitgwang Declaration under the Interim Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/A-IO, Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual Hoth with effective of September 19, 2021.”
He said most of the concerns that triggered his decision to join the opposition holdout commanders in Magenis include the lack of political will by President Salva Kiir Mayardit to implement the revitalized peace agreement coupled with silence of First Vice President and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
“After having observed with grave concerns on political will of the parties to implement September 12, 2018 Revitalized peace agreement, it came to my attention that the political will of the parties has been dishonored by the peace partner and there is no way to continue my support to Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon who has been living under confinement in Juba since February 22, 2020 on the hand of his peace partner, President Salva Kiir Mayardit,” he said.
“As you might have seen, it took the parties to the agreement 19 months to implement only one provision of the agreement which was governance, leaving all provisions untouchable including critical issue which is security arrangements that made Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual Hoth to form his own movement because of the abandonment of SPLA troops in bushes by the Former Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon,” he added.
He claimed without evidence that Machar “has destroyed Nuer people beyond the repair and made Dinka people to be untouchable heroes and first class citizens in the country which we all fought for it. In his six points on December 6, 2013 press conference, Dr. Machar accused President Salva Kiir of corruption, tribalism and nepotism, loss of SPLM vision and direction, dictatorship and lack of democracy, as well as poor relationship with international community.”
“However, after Machar’s signature of revitalized peace agreement on September 12, 2018 and took the oath on February 22, 2020, all the six points that he accused President Kiir about, Machar became an architecture to implement all the six points by himself that he laid out against President Kiir including the appointment of Hon. Angelina Teny, his own bed wife, other relatives and including in-laws.
“Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon has been widely known for his lack of democracy, silence killer and indirect dictator, blackmailing the Nuer people and other South Sudanese that he is a man of democracy, not really, however, abusing of democracy and weak leadership have become the result of Kitgwang Declaration in which he has only remained with positions holders and family business enterprise. Over 30 years of failed leadership is enough.”
Separately, SPLA-IO Kitgwang factional spokesman Brigadier-General William Gatjiath Deng welcomed the decision by Michael Pal and the former opposition Thorow County commissioner and express happiness of the leadership over the decision that the two men have made.
“The office of information for Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition SPLA (IO) would like to congratulate the national Artist Brig. General Michael Pal Riek, and the team on their bold decision they have taken to declare their full allegiance to Kit-Gwang Declaration,” Gatjiath wrote in a statement he extended to Sudans Post.
“The leadership has indeed, shown happiness and paid a warm welcome with highly reception and the sense of revolutionary spirit,” he added.