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JMEC criticizes nomination of Taban Deng Gai as “illegitimate”


July 23, 2016 (JUBA) – The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), the highest body established under the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS), to monitor its full implementation, has criticized the Saturday’s process to replace First Vice President, Riek Machar.

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President Salva Kiir meets SPLM-IO Chief Negotiator, Taban Deng Gai, in Juba, December 22, 2015 (ST Photo)

A group of people, claiming to be the leadership of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) in Juba, said they have endorsed Minister of Mining, Taban Deng Gai, to act as First Vice President in the absence of Machar.

Machar fled Juba two weeks ago after his forces clashed with the forces loyal to President Salva Kiir. He said he would return to Juba once a third party force is deployed to separate the two forces and ensure his protection and the safety of his officials.

The group, including Alfred Ladu Gore, deputy chairman and Dhieu Mathok Diing, secretary general, were reportedly threatened by Gai to endorse him. This happened a day after Gai was already dismissed from the party membership by Machar on Friday, who accused him of defecting to President Salva Kiir’s faction.

Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, a supporter of Gai, told Miraya FM radio on Saturday that Gai would be appointed as First Vice President on Saturday by President Kiir and take oath of office on Sunday and start his work on Monday. It is not clear if the sequence of events will happen as predicted by Gatkuoth.

It was not clear why it was Gai, number four in the SPLM-IO hierarchy pushed his own nomination despite the presence of his two senior officials, Alfred Lado Gore, and Dhieu Mathok Diing.

The members who convened the meeting said Gai would step down if Machar returns to Juba. They said Gai would be appointed by President Kiir over the weekend as acting First Vice President.

However, the process has been criticized by JMEC who immediately issued a statement on Saturday, saying they only recognize Machar as the legitimate leader of the SPLM-IO.

“We recognize First Vice President Riek Machar as the legitimate leader of the SPLM-IO. A change to the leadership depends on the IO itself and we are not here to speculate as to any change of leadership. We do not see any value in speculating when the friends of South Sudan are working hard to ensure a return to the peace agreement,” JMEC said in a short statement in their reaction to the attempt to replace Machar.

Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, also said the process was “illegal” as Taban Deng was no longer a member of the SPLM-IO per the dismissal issued on Friday evening by Machar.

He said Gai and his “handful of officials” were being used by President Kiir’s group to cause problems within the SPLM-IO and to subsequently dismantle the peace agreement.

He said some of their leaders in Juba have been threatened to endorse Gai or risk security threats, adding that even the number of the officials present could not qualify for a quorum to decide for the party’s leadership future.

“First of all, that hotel meeting was illegal, organized by a dismissed member. Second, even if they were to be SPLM-IO officials, what did they call themselves? Were they political bureau members or were they national liberation council members? How many were they? Could they qualify for a quorum of the two respective institutions of the party? These are the questions. They picked people from the streets of Juba and called them a leadership body. The whole process is illegal and a forgery designed for them by someone else who wishes to destroy the peace agreement,” Dak told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

He said over 90 percent of the SPLM-IO members of the political bureau and national liberation council have either fled to United Nations camps in Juba or are in the other parts of the country and in the neighbouring countries.

Dak also said even if Gai were not to have been dismissed from the party prior to his “forged nomination”, there was no such a process provided for in the peace agreement to replace a first vice president.

He said it should have been the first vice president, who is a nominee of the SPLM-IO, to have instead nominated someone to act on his behalf if need be.

The opposition’s leader spokesperson further pointed there is no provision in the peace agreement which said in the absence of the first vice president, an official should impose himself to be nominated and get appointed and sworn in.

He said Machar remains the legitimate leader of the SPLM-IO and commander-in-chief of the SPLA-IO army as well as the first vice president, adding that any attempt to violate August 2015 the peace agreement would backfire.

He dismissed claims by Taban Deng that he would step down "if" Machar emerges, saying their hope is that Machar will be crashed in the bush and never come back to Juba.

The SPLM-IO says its leader Machar will return to Juba once the third party force is deployed to the capital. But Taban backs the President Kiir in his rejection for the deployment of a regional force in the country.


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  • 23 July 2016 21:45, by Panda Odhie

    JMEC should know Riek is not the SPLMIO there were people that joined with him to be called SPLMIO and if majority decided there is no argument anymore

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    • 23 July 2016 21:53, by Eastern

      ....you Dinka zealots so use the word "majority" with some sanity. If you are really using your head, where are the majority of SPLM-io at the moment, dining and wining with Kiir in Juba or fighting mosquitoes in the bush with Dr Machar?

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  • 23 July 2016 21:50, by Eastern

    The Dinka cabal in Juba never ceases to amaze me; Kiir and cohorts keep jumping from one frying pan to another without any end in sight. The agreement is clear; it’s not subject to renegotiation. The ARCISS is either implemented in its letters and spirit or there’s no agreement so to talk of, JMEC have you heard?

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  • 23 July 2016 21:51, by Lango2010

    your lies are immeasurable in this nation and you are make IO a laughable entity. who is really for peace? your leader is in hiding and you demand for a third party, others in UNMISS camp or in neighbouring countries. it is serious here, do you think peace deal be achieved in Vacuum? South Sudan need brave leaders like Taban Deng not a mere puppet like your machar.

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    • 23 July 2016 22:00, by Lango2010

      if you don’t, let me tell you that government is a system but individual. riek should not fool people around by spreading lies the to the world. people of South Sudan need peace and this peace can not be achieved i hiding. it is good that Taban Deng and Ladu Gore have realized the suffering of our people,rather than this collaborator and traitor. let Taban carry on with the agreement.

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    • 23 July 2016 22:00, by Lango2010

      if you don’t, let me tell you that government is a system but individual. riek should not fool people around by spreading lies the to the world. people of South Sudan need peace and this peace can not be achieved i hiding. it is good that Taban Deng and Ladu Gore have realized the suffering of our people,rather than this collaborator and traitor. let Taban carry on with the agreement.

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      • 24 July 2016 11:55, by Eastern

        Do they have a government in South Sudan of what is in place is kleptocrats who continue dreaming that they CAN fight America, Lango2010’ apart from shitting in the open, what has the kleptocrats with Akiir at the helm done since 2005?

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  • 24 July 2016 00:11, by Dinka-Defender-General

    Guys, I believe government did the right things by replacing machar with Taban because he deserted the government for two weeks. Also he did not call or no show for two weeks. Therefore, he deserved to be replaced.

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    • 24 July 2016 00:22, by lino

      Hahaha! Gen. What college were you a graduate of??! JMEC and partners of SS Peace Agreement are not foolish or un educated. I believe Gen. Kiir will come back to the same suggestions he is getting as now. Let’s wait...it is a matter of time!!!

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      • 24 July 2016 02:54, by Malakal county Simon

        Bull shiit!! Only Dr Machar is the a legitimate First Vice-president in the agreement!!!!

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    • 24 July 2016 04:44, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

      Look this is a disease of superiority complex that does not earn the country anything except destruction. Follow the constitution and the terms of agreements for heaven’s sake. Do not act like a chief of a Dinka village. Wake up this is South Sudan that belongs to many people of different ethnicity.

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    • 24 July 2016 10:40, by jubaone

      Dinka-Defender General,

      Now if that is how Dinka generals think and write English, then there is no wonder that the country is being led by monkeys and devils. I suggest you attend some evening school to get your thinking straight and right. Oh South Sudan!

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  • 24 July 2016 08:00, by viper

    JMEC should respect the rules of political organisations. I do agree with what the liberation council of the SPLM IO did yesterday. Riek is nowhere to be seen or heard from and is the first vice president of the country. How do you expect an anonymous person to run the country? Gadet Dak is interfering so much in the duties of the first vice president. It was him who claimed to have fired Taban y

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    • 24 July 2016 08:07, by viper

      ........ Yesterday on the social media and therefore, there is a need to wean this boy from interfering in the presidency affairs. JMEC came to see the peace implementation between the IOs and the SPLM IG, not between Riek and Kiir. The body that nominated Taban is an IO body and their decision should be respected.

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      • 24 July 2016 11:57, by Malakal county Simon


        For your information, They were dismissed group, which are no longer part of SPLM_IO leadership under chairmanship of Dr Machar..... Another word they are illegal group......

        repondre message

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