July 5, 2014 (ADDIS BABA) – A former detainee and senior member of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Peter Adwok Nyaba, has joined the armed resistance movement under the leadership of former vice-president Riek Machar, a rebel spokesman has confirmed.
- Peter Adwok Nyaba (The Niles/Pascal Ladu)
“Comrade Dr Peter Adwok Nyaba has joined the resistance movement,” said James Gatdet Dak, spokesman for the opposition leader, Riek Machar.
Nyaba, a university professor and served as the national minister for higher education in South Sudan before he was sacked in July 2013 in a major cabinet reshuffle, was arrested and detained for a number of days after the 15 December crisis, accused of allegedly plotting a coup with Machar.
He was later on released but confined to Juba for six months where his passports were confiscated. However, he was allowed to travel to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, this week.
Last month, Nyaba submitted his resignation from the membership of the ruling SPLM party to president Salva Kiir who chairs the party in the government-controlled areas.
Dak also added that the former detainee is also appointed by the leadership of the SPLM in opposition as the chairman in charge of a body to reorganise the SPLM party and develop its basic documents.
YOUTH LEAGUE LEADERSHIP APPOINTED
The opposition group also appointed a three-man youth leadership mandated to organise a youth league for the ruling party’s opposition faction (SPLM in Opposition) in South Sudan and abroad.
Puot Kang Chol, is appointed the chairman of the SPLM Youth League leadership, deputised by Peter Mabior Riny, with Matata Frank as the secretary-general of the youth leadership body.
The party’s youth league leadership is mandated to organise youth in South Sudan and abroad, represent the league in the movement and in official gatherings as well as select comrades to occupy positions in the league’s provisional structure.
The move is seen as a move to counter the SPLM youth league in government-controlled areas.
The body will strictly work to organise youth that are members of the SPLM in opposition while the national committee for women and youth empowerment, a separate body, is responsible for the general youth, including those that are not members of the SPLM.
In a related development, SPLA in opposition’s military governor of Upper Nile state, Major General Gathoth Gatkuoth Hothnyang, has appointed David Deng Gach Pal as secretary-general of the state government in areas under rebel control.
The armed opposition group’s secretary-general serves as the cabinet secretary also in charge of the civil service in the areas controlled by the rebel group.
Analysts say the rebels may want to make an impression or send out a message that the state government is well into forming its own resembling structures under the rebels’ control.