Top Machar allies from Fangak disown James Kok, Gen. Kuol Gai
A group of senior South Sudan main armed opposition politicians of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement in Opposition led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny has issued a statement dismissing claims by General Johnson Kuol Gai and James Kok Ruea that Fangak County is being underrepresented in the government.
JUBA – A group of senior South Sudan main armed opposition politicians of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny has issued a statement dismissing claims by General Johnson Kuol Gai and James Kok Ruea that Fangak County is being underrepresented in the government.
Last week, a group of opposition politicians including James Kok, led by Gen. Johnson Kuol Gai accused Machar of intentionally neglecting the people of Fangak County and declared its allegiance to the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) led by President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
They made a lot of accusations including misrepresentation and negligence during floods, but in a statement this week, senior opposition politicians from Fangak County led by Amb. Stephen Phar Kuol, South Sudan’s minister for peace, dismissed the claims.
“On 11th November 2021, the SPLM/SPLA-IO Phow Leadership learned the defection of Major General Johnson Kuol Gai and Hon. James Kok Ruea, among others, to the SPLM-IG under Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit. Gen. Johnson was a member of the Joint Transitional Security Committee (JTSC) and Hon. James Kok Ruea was a member of the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) representing Fangak County, Constituency No.1,” they said in the statement extended to Sudans Post.
“In this respect, Gen. Johnson does not command the SPLA (IO) division seven (7) nor does he command any of its brigades. Besides; he does not also represent Fangak community in any way. And Hon. James Kok defected alone and did not defect with the Fangak constituents. It follows that Johnson and Kok defected on their own representing themselves and not representing any group, which they claimed in their Declaration letter,” they added.
“The declaration letter mentioned that the people of Fangak suffered enough for eight years under the SPLM (IO) leadership. Well, this claim is wanting and this is because Johnson Kuol himself worked as deputy governor of the defunct Phow state from 2014 to 2016 and subsequently became its governor in 2016 to 2020. Any suffering in Fangak County, the defunct Phow state leadership under Gen. Johnson Kuol is responsible and hence blameworthy.
“The flood situation is an undeniable natural disaster across the country and that can be addressed by both state and national governments. In particular, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) leadership in Phow Area wishes to state that it has no sufficient resources to address the flood to relieve the suffering of our people.
“The declaration alleged a typical unfair treatment against the people of Fangak County by the SPLM/A (IO) before and after the signing of the Peace Agreement. To disentangle this assertion in terms of political participation, Fangak County has been well represented, notably; before the signing of the agreement Gen. Johnson Kuol himself became a deputy governor and later became the governor of the said Phow state and in foreign mission Phow Area was represented by Fangak sons.
“In security sector, the deputy of the SPLA (IO), Division Seven (7) is from Fangak County. And after the signing of the Agreement, Fangak County has been well represented too with ministerial position, two members of parliament and one member in the Council of State. It means this very claim is untrue.
“The declaration letter blamed the SPLM/SPLA (IO) for taking the lead on structural reforms enshrined in the Revitalized Agreement. In this regard, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) has been working with other parties to the agreement to fully implement the R-ARCSS in letter and spirit and this specifically includes the implementation of the structural reforms embodied in the Agreement. Therefore, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) has not done anything wrong, rather than implementing the Revitalized Agreement.
“The declaration letter claims that the two armies with two commanders in chief in the same country complicated the unification of the necessary unified forces. This proposition per se is flawed and fallible. This is because in the Revitalized Agreement, Chapter 2, article 2.4, sub article 2.4.1 outlined that all opposition leaders remain as commanders in chief of their armed forces before the unification and amalgamation of the necessary unified forces. This implies that after the graduation of the necessary armed forces there shall only be one mandated commander in chief of the National Army.
“In conclusion, the SPLM/SPLA (IO) Phow Leadership condemned and dismissed the aforementioned false claims and call on the general public to disregard and ignore the content of the Declaration. Furthermore, Phow Leadership urges the people of Fangak County to remain strong and committed in pursuit of the SPLMSPLA (IO) cause of the struggle.”
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