JUBA – South Sudan’s main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition spokesman Mabior Garang De Mabior has said that First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny is no longer the leader of the main armed opposition group saying all structures under him are therefore null and void following his removal by the military.
This comes a week after powerful opposition military chief General Simon Gatwech Dual issued a communiqué replacing Machar as leader of the opposition group following a three-day gathering of top opposition commanders at Kitgwang, in northern-most South Sudanese town of Magenis.
Machar then responded with anger dismissing all commander allied to Gatwech. Another meeting of the SPLM-IO Political Bureau in Juba chaired by Machar dismissed the opposition group’s deputy chairman Henry Odwar from the group as well as relieving Mabior Garang from his position as the group’s head of National Committee for Information and Public Relations.
However, in a statement this afternoon, Mabior Garang said he didn’t resign last year and also said Machar is no longer the head of the SPLM-IO saying he has been removed by the military making all political and military structures under him as null and void.
“This press release serves to inform members of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) and the public at large that there has been a split in the Movement. The public should disregard the fake news of the expulsion of the Deputy Chairman, some Political Bureau members and the mendacious lie that I – the defunct National Chairperson for Information and Public Relations – have resigned,” he said in a statement seen by Sudans Post.
“After the former Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gatwech Dual, called on the former Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar, to brief the military on the progress of the Security Arrangements but was ignored, the army deposed Dr. Riek Machar as the Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) on 03/08/2021,” he added.
“If the army has deposed the former Chairman and Commander in Chief, all structures under him are rendered null and void. A deposed leader cannot expel members of a leadership that has already been overthrown. I call on the public to remain vigilant in these times of political crisis in our Movement.
He further said the “the SPLM/SPLA-IO (Founding Members) acknowledge the split in the Movement. We are fully committed to a peaceful resolution to the internal political contradictions in our Movement and are ready to make revolutionary corrections. We are also committed to the resolutions of the IGAD COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE 73rd EXTRA-ORDINARY SESSION OF THE IGAD COUNCIL OF MINISTERS.”
Sudans Post is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Sudan, South Sudan and East Africa, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the two countries and the region.