JUBA – South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, is on the correct side of the revitalized peace agreement on its dispute with the SPLM-IG over General Johnson Olony Thabo, according to a senior ex-Taban official.
Olony is the SPLM-IO nominee for Upper Nile state governor, but he has been rejected by President Salva Kiir Mayardit on account that the controversial opposition commander is a “warmonger.”
Olony and the SPLM-IO have denied those accusations.
Agel Machar, a former press sevretary for former First Vice-president Taban Deng Gai (now Vice President), said on his Facebook profile that General Johnson Olony should be appointed as the SPLM-IG lack concrete reasons to block Olony’s appointment.
“R-ARCISS implementation is has apparently come to a standstill because of the refusal to appoint one Johnson Olony Thabo, the SPLM-IO’s nominated candidate for Upper Nile State Gubernatorial seat,” Machar said.
“The only reason we hear via various media outlets is that this Gen Johnson Olony dude is some serious “warmonger”. I’m not aware of all the classified intelligence you guys receive on him and his activities but it hasn’t escaped our attention that some of the alleged warmongers of both the Dec 2013 (Tiger Headquarters) and July 2016 (J1 Dogfight) wars are currently in government already. Please give us a break. We have suffered enough,” he said.
Agel who is formerly a senior SPLM-IO official said like President Salva Kiir Mayardit protected his group’s interest for preserving appointment of Joseph Nguen Manytuil as governor of Unity state, Machar is also protecting his interest on Olony and is on the right side of the revitalized peace agreement.
“I made several attempts to pass the information that we should consider surrendering Unity State to the SPLM-IO instead of Upper Nile State. Dr Joseph Nguen Monytuil could have been accommodated somewhere else. But I was strongly rebuffed and told that we must protect VP Taban Deng, Presidential advisor Tut Kew and Gov Nguyen Monytuil who are evidently strong allies of President Mayardit. Excellent,” he said.
“Now, Riek Machar and his SPLM-IO on the other hand must also protect their strong allies in Agwelek of Gen Johnson Olony Thabo. On top of that, they are on the correct side of the R-ARCISS. I don’t believe that this unnecessary delay in formation of the State governments and the R-TNLA is in our best interests.
“Someone must quickly gather the required courage to appoint Gen Johnson Olony as governor of Upper Nile State. The issues of land disputes across the country should be postponed and dealt with at a later date.”