February 27, 2017 (JUBA) – A leading member of South Sudan’s armed opposition (SPLM-IO) has abandoned rebellion and joined President Salva Kiir’s faction, citing what he described as “radical members” surrounding the opposition leadership in Juba.
- Major General Khamis Abdel-Latif Kachuol greets rebel leader Riek Machar at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi on 24 January 2015 (ST)
General Khamis Abdallatif Chawul, who resigned from the government in 2014 and joined rebels under the leadership of ex-First Vice President Riek Machar, resigned on Sunday and declared his intention to join President Kiir.
Khamis was appointed the Governor South Sudan’s Lakes state in 2014. However, when the peace agreement was signed in August 2015, Khamis returned to Juba, but remained with First Vice President Taban Deng, who replaced Machar last year.
In his resignation letter, Khamis said Taban is “surrounded by radical members” who are bent on targeting the Dinka, South Sudan’s largest tribe.
“I have seen and discovered that the (SPM in) opposition is targeting Dinka as a tribe which President Kiir hails from,” said Khamis in his two-paged letter.
“The opposition has managed to instigate other South Sudanese tribes against Dinka tribe which I hailed from,” he added.
Members of the armed opposition faction are yet to respond to Khamis’s resignation.