July 11, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudan’s former vice-president, Riek Machar, who now leads a seven-month-old rebellion against president Salva Kiir-led government has appointed senior assistants in his office, as well as representatives of the rebel faction abroad in a move to consolidate the diplomatic presence of the SPLM/A in Opposition in the international arena.
- South Sudan’s rebel leader, Riek Machar, smiles as he meets his friends at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa on 9 May 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
In the latest series of appointments, the rebel leader appointed Ramadan Hassan Laku, a former MP, as the chief coordinator in the office of the chairman.
Machar also reconfirmed James Gatdet Dak as his spokesperson and head of media department in his office.
Dak previously served as Machar’s press secretary while in government for many years before his boss was sacked from office as vice-president in July 2013.
Military spokesman, Brig Lul Ruai Koang, has also maintained his position in the office of the chairman as head of information department for the military.
The former South Sudan’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, Francis Nazario, is appointed the movement’s representative to the European Union based in Brussels.
Ambassador Nazario defected to the armed opposition group last month, accusing Salva Kiir’s government of plunging the country into crisis.
Former governor of Upper Nile state, Dak Duop Bichiok, will represent the movement in the Republic of Sudan. Bichiok previously served as a national minister in Khartoum before the split of the country in July 2011.
Adel Elias Sandari, former commissioner of Maridi county and education minister in Western Equatoria state has become the representative to Kenya, while a former member of national parliament and minister of education in Upper Nile state, Daniel Wuor Joak, will represent the rebel group in Norway and Scandinavian countries. Bol Gatkuoth Chol, a former MP in Juba, is the representative to Rwanda.
Goi Jooyul Yol, former commissioner of Akobo county of Jonglei state and Thomas Jal Thomas, former minister of Finance in Unity state, will represent the movement in Ethiopia and Egypt, respectively, while Bapiny Tim Chol, is posted to Ireland.
Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, said the appointment of the officials to represent the movement in the various countries abroad was an important step in enlightening the international community.
“These appointments of cadres to represent the resistance movement to the various countries and international bodies abroad are necessary and important. The officials will consolidate diplomatic efforts by further informing and enlightening the international community on the genesis of the current crisis in South Sudan,” Dak told Sudan Tribune on Thursday when contacted to comment on the importance of the move.
“The officials will also establish relations and enlighten the international community on how the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA [in opposition] envisions the way forward in ending the crisis and installing a federal system of governance in the country,” he further stressed.
Other cadres of the armed resistance movement, he said, are yet to be appointed to various countries in the region, Middle East and America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
HEADS OF HUMANITARIAN WINGS
For humanitarian interventions in the rebel controlled areas, Machar has appointed Gideon Gatpan Thoar, former minister of information in Unity state, as the director for South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SSRRA) in Kenya, while Bor Gatwech Kuany, former national MP, is the director for SSRRA in Ethiopia.
Colonel Bern Puot Yuot is appointed director to head the department for immigration, passports and customs in the liberated areas. Before the 15 December crisis, Yuot served as director for the states affairs in the ministry of interior in South Sudan.