August 1, 2014 (JUBA) – A senior official in South Sudan’s governing party (SPLM) has announced that he is joining the country’s rebel faction, accusing president Salva Kiir of “failure and marginalisation”.
- Senior members of SPLM political bureau pose for a group picture. (Photo: SPLM TODAY)
Akol Madhan Akol, a former member of the National Liberation Council (NLC), declared his defection in a statement obtained by Sudan Tribune on Thursday. The NLC is the SPLM’s highest legislative organ.
He claimed the country was in a “coma” under president Kiir’s leadership and that it was time for South Sudanese “to rescue the country from total collapse and disintegration into tribal enclaves”.
Akol also served as an executive director in the office of the country’s minister for telecommunications and postal services.
“I decided to resign serving the government because it is killing our people and our children, people who are very young without strong knowledge and copying mechanisms were hoodwinked by the government and made to fight in defends of individual interests. This is an act which is totally against child right and must not be entertained at any cost. The current army commander hoodwinked our children,” said Akol.
He accused the president and his friends of running the government “as if it were individual property”.
“There are people in that government who do whatever they want without being questioned and there are people in that government who are simply doing what they are told by others. They have no voice to propose or reject. They are simply there to take instructions from others. Other communities have also been properly marginalised, killed children and run the country as if it were personal property,” he wrote in his letter.
Akol also cited failure by the SPLM to adopt internal reforms within the party the major cause of tension and the ingoing conflict in the country, three years after its independence declaration.
“It is inconceivable that president Kiir has become an obstacle to democratic reforms, thereby using the military confrontation to silence those pushing for meaning reforms instead of dialogue and debates aimed at uniting the ranks and file,” he said.
He called for members of the military to take on Kiir’s government and protect their fellow country men and women.
“Salva Kiir runs the country in a way that basically makes him a dictator. He can imprison whoever he wants without providing evidence. He had refused listening to the voice of the majority. He appoints people who do not in any way meet any criteria of appointment, whether be it social, political and common ways of appointing people into leadership positions,” said Akol.
He accused president Kiir of mishandling governance issues in his native Northern Bahr el Ghazal state.