JUBA — South Sudan’s main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) commanders of sector two in the country’s Unity State have issued a statement condemning Wednesday’s declaration by the group’s former army chief General Simon Gatwech Dual removing First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny as the group’s.
This comes one day after General Simon Gatwech said in a statement that he has ceased to act under Machar and announced that he from then became an interim chairman and commander in chief for the most powerful opposition group.
In a statement following a meeting chaired by the sector two commander General George Gathuoy Thak and attended by Major-Gener John Turuk Khor and Major-General Tito Biel Wich at Dingding in Rubkona County, the commanders said they remain loyal to Machar despite the ouster because Genera Gatwech Dual’s decision is “a conspiracy against the peace agreement.”
“All the commanders met to reaffirm their loyalty to the people of South Sudan under the wise leadership of Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO),” Major Yai Pazala, the spokesman for SPLA-IO’s sector 2, said in a statement extended to Sudans Post.
“The whole of sector two is still maintaining its mission and version of the SPLM/A-IO led by its able leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, who is also the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan,” the statement added.
He further added that the statement was released “after the former chief of general staff General Simon Gatwech Dual and a few cohorts declared himself chairman of the SPLM/A-IO which is baseless.”
Pazala further said other opposition commander who attended the meeting include Major-General James Chuol Nyak Jiey, Major General Samuel Dok Wanjang, Major-General Moses Ruai Khor Yat, Major-General Joseph Gatbany Chuol, Major-General James Tut Yap Kuong, Major-General James Tap Gatdet, Major-General Peter Liem Bol, Major General Stephen Chap Majuan, Major-General Ruathel Tut and Brigadier-General James Kuer Puot Tut.