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SSOA dismisses reports that post of South Sudan vice-president behind divisions

20181204 SSOA leaders pose in Khartoum after decision to backtrack on Peter Gatdet election for chairman on 4 Dec 2018 (ST Photo)
February 15, 2019 (JUBA) - The South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) dismissed reports that the dissent among its members is motivated by the struggle over the position of vice president allocated to the alliance in accordance with the revitalized peace agreement.

Since September 2018, the opposition umbrella has experienced several crises as some of its factions rejected the signing of the peace pact by its chairman Gabriel Changson and formed the South Sudan National Democratic Alliance.

In November 2018, other groups contested Changson leadership pointing that he contravened the principle of the six-month rotation chairmanship. However, the incumbent leader and his supporters refused the election of Peter Gadet as a new head of the alliance.

The position of the vice-president "is being cited as the reason for the so-called crisis in SSOA. This is not true. If there are any leaders of SSOA aspiring for this and expressing their intentions, they are free to do so," said the Dei Tut, the Acting Secretary for Information and Communications.

He pointed out that all the SSOA positions in the transitional government will be allocated by the leaders of the group but not a third party. Also, he added the allocation process will take place when all the positions are ascertained.

"We are therefore not in a hurry to distribute these positions," he said adding that during the peace talks they stood for democratic reforms, not for positions.

"Struggle for positions within SSOA is therefore not only a betrayal of our people but deviation from our cardinal principles," he stressed.

Reports say that there are three aspirants for the post of the vice-president, SSPM leader headed Costello Garang, Gabriel Changson and Lam Akol.

While Costello’s partisans speak about the need for representing the Bahr el-Ghazal region, and Changson’s followers say the election is the best means for the nomination, Akol supporters say the Skulk, the third ethnic group in South Sudan has no sufficient representation within the upcoming transitional government.

"If the NDM wants the position for Dr Lam Akol, you will agree with me that he has more deserving qualifications than the tribal card," said Akol in a comment to Sudan Tribune.

(ST)