March 24, 2017 (JUBA)- The Governor of Ruweng State in South Sudan has shifted a political allegiance from a faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) allied to the First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai.
Dhieu Mathok Diing, minister of dams and electricity, who is the secretary general of the SPLM-IO Gai-faction confirmed the defection of the Ruweng governor.
Governor Theji Da Adwad Deng accused Gai in a letter extended to Sudan Tribune of forcefully occupying a piece of Ruweng land known as Wath Daluel and renamed it Manga since 2005.
He also accused the first vice-president of abusing his powers by trying to annexe the land to his home state.
"Cde Taban Deng Gai occupied one of the key areas of Ruweng state known as Wath Danluel (which he renamed as Manga) illegally since 2005 and continues to insist on returning to perpetuate his illegal occupation of this Ruweng land after the peace agreement,” the letter reads in part.
“This is a direct abuse of his powers as the first vice president, which to me is unacceptable. I cannot and will never allow an inch of my communities’ land to be taken by anybody on watch,” it adds.
The letter further accused Gai of working against the national security policies, allegedly in Ruweng state in particular for his “self-interest”. The governor said that the main objective of the formation of the unity government was to foster and enhances the security of the people and to reconcile them so that peace returns to the country.
“In the interest of security, peace and stability of the people of Ruweng state and indeed the entire nation, the cited reasons are sufficient for any measure of dissatisfaction. I am dissatisfied beyond a reasonable doubt with the policies of the SPLM-IO under the leadership of comrade Taban and therefore, I hereby officially resign from ranks and files as from today 23 March 2017 and declare my rejoining the SPLM mainstream (SPLM-IG) today”, he wrote.
Governor Deng was appointed as a governor on the ticket of the SPLM-IO Gai-faction as part of a power-sharing deal. It remains unclear whether the shifting of allegiance would result in the loss of his position.