Home | News    Friday 19 August 2016

SPLM-IO says South Sudan’s new FVP cut off from controlled areas


President Salva Kiir (R) embraces Taban Deng Gai after his swearing-in ceremony as FVP at the Presidential Palace in the capital of Juba, July 26, 2016 (Photo Reuters Jok Solumun)

August 18, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese opposition faction led by the former First Vice President, Riek Machar, said they have cut off Taban Deng Gai, the new First Vice President, from all the areas controlled by the opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), including from its headquarters of Pagak in Upper Nile region.

“Honourable Taban Deng Gai will not set foot in the SPLM/SPLA (IO) controlled areas across the country, including the General Headquarters of Pagak,” said James Gatdet Dak, official spokesperson for Machar, the leader of the opposition faction, SPLM-IO.

“Let him deceive President Salva Kiir in Juba by claiming that he is also a leader of the organization called SPLM/SPLA (IO). He may get away with the deception in Juba because the two of them seem to be so desperate and are comfortable with mutual deception. The President may not bother to ask him about who is actually in charge of the SPLM-IO controlled territories in the country, including the General Headquarters, Pagak. But the reality is that he is alone leader with no grassroots support or base. He is a defector to President Kiir,” he added.

He said Gai can only visit President Kiir’s controlled areas, adding he is in reality part and parcel of the faction led by the President after his recent defection from the SPLM-IO.

Dak added that a directive was already issued by the leader of the SPLM-IO, Riek Machar, dismissing and cutting off Gai, not only from his previous contacts with the SPLA-IO army, but also with the civil administrations of the SPLM-IO in the states and counties they control.

He said Machar is in full control of the civil administrations and the entire army of the SPLM-IO faction, and that Gai only "defected" with his bodyguards and some of the SPLM-IO politicians “who were only after positions in the government and not for the reform agenda in the country.”


Dak also described the current working relationship between the new First Vice President, Gai, and President Kiir as based on “surrender and conspiracy to avoid reforms in the country” but not about the claimed cohesion in the presidency.

“Their working relationship now is based on the fact that Honourable Taban Deng Gai has surrendered while President Salva Kiir has embraced him for a mutual conspiracy to avoid reforms and accountability in South Sudan. It is about compromising and abrogating the August 2015 peace agreement. So it is never based on cohesion to do the right thing as they claimed,” he claimed.

The opposition leader’s spokesman was responding to comments from the presidency that their working relationship had gone well without Machar in the implementation of the peace agreement.

He further argued that with the current situation to destroy the peace deal by scrapping its important provisions, the country would never implement reforms, further claiming that the two leaders have already begun to dismantle some of the mechanisms that are crucial for ensuring that reforms are implemented.

The declaration to immediately begin integration of SPLA-IO, although Gai has no force to integrate, he said, is an indication of the desire to avoid implementing security sector reforms which was necessary before the amalgamation of the forces can take place.

For instance, Dak further argued that Gai has surrendered to President Kiir the position of the speaker of the transitional national legislative assembly which was very crucial for driving the reform agenda among the lawmakers in the country.

This came after President Kiir insisted that he was the one to select the speaker of parliament. Previously, Riek Machar wanted the position to be contested by the two factions and the winner takes it.

“See how he has surrendered the position of the speaker. We in the opposition wanted to contest for this seat because it is crucial for driving the needed change and passing reform laws in the parliament. We would have won the speakership position if it was contested democratically. We had huge support from within President Kiir’s members of parliament who wanted us to spearhead the change. This is the reason President Kiir did not want democratic election for the position. But now Honourable Taban Deng Gai has simply surrendered this important position. It means he is not for change but only interested to maintain the status quo,” he said.

“We will not however become magnanimous at the expense of scrapping provisions in the peace agreement and nipping reforms in the bud. We will ensure that the situation is corrected and the country goes for reforms in various sectors in order to move forward,” he added.

He also said Machar remains the legitimate First Vice President of South Sudan, despite his recent “illegal” replacement by President Kiir.

The opposition leader has reportedly relocated to another neighbouring country after a month of fighting with President Kiir’s forces who reportedly hunted for him in the bushes around Juba, following clashes in the capital which involved his small number of forces.

Dak claimed that Machar was relocated for his safety and in order to have access to the rest of the world and the media.


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  • 18 August 2016 23:52, by Mr Point

    Dishonourable Taban Deng Gai has simply surrendered any interest he may have had in democratic reform to the Dictator, Kiir

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    • 19 August 2016 03:17, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

      Let the dogs bark & the camels keep matching ahead! Sayings are not easier than done! Just let Riek come b’se he fled alone due to his forces failure to succeed the coup. 1991, 2013 & 2016! 3 times fully completed. What next when he returns? It’s another fighting that’ll take either Kiir’s life, or Riek’s life or both.

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      • 19 August 2016 06:50, by Akook

        Shadrack Nuer Machut please stop making look foolish in the eyes of the world. If Pres Kiir is foolish does not mean we all act like one as Dinka.

        What does it feed to the right minds of human to think Riek Machar went to Juba only 1,300 troops and mount a coup against ten of thousands of troops armed with air power to tanks?
        I am ashame of some of my fellow Dinkas’ claim.

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        • 19 August 2016 08:36, by Eastern


          As I have always maintained, you are a voice of reason among your Dinka fraternity. Continue with the spirit.

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        • 19 August 2016 08:47, by Dengda

          @ Akook
          I felt for you, I hope the rest of 63 tribes would understand and stop stereotyping whole Dinka. Because Dinka never have been so low like this. It just foolish majority who even suffering from hunger who are making useless representation using dinka name. I am optimistic the majority of young intellectual Dinka don’t like the trend. apart from diehard Aweil, Warrap and Bor South.

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          • 19 August 2016 08:54, by Dengda

            Also Majority of Nuer aren’t helping the situation either. Look here at the time the agreement was signed, many defected from the mainstream(IO) I wonder why? I am just support IO, because for reforms, ACRSS is the best document ever. Let those ofPeter Gadet and Changson fight to change Kiir in presidency. I believes Kiir would gone by 2018 election using ACRSS, again Taban betrayal IO for positio

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        • 19 August 2016 10:18, by Paul Ongee

          Ya James Gatdet Dak,
          What is your problem? Riek Machar was given ultimatum 48 hrs to report to his position and he failed to do so. Who do you blame for that? Riek Machar is badly injured as a result of his egoism and is getting treatment in the DRC under the UN supervision. He cannot yet give any press statement today or tomorrow how he’s gonna get imposed on South Sudanese as President.

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          • 19 August 2016 10:19, by Paul Ongee

            Let me tell you something; the agreement is not violated as you think. If this agreement is violated like KPA of 1997, he should run back to Khartoum where he always feels at home like when he returned to Dr. John Garang to feel at home and got reinstated is his position. Why do you think that it’s easier to rebel against your own brothers in the South than in the North where KPA is signed and vio

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            • 19 August 2016 10:20, by Paul Ongee

              I know you don’t want to hear this. Riek Machar failed to come up with reform agenda to restructure NCP in Khartoum but instead returned quietly leaving many innocent Nuer vulnerable to be slaughtered by Omer Bashir until the late Gen. Paulino Matip stepped in for rescue. He failed to look at himself in the mirror like any other politicians in the West, for example.

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              • 19 August 2016 10:24, by Paul Ongee

                If you talk of Riek Machar as leader, it rings in my mind how the West failed to impose him on Sudanese in the 1990s but feels that it’s okay to impose him on South Sudanese in this 21st century without revisiting his political track record. Do you see how Riek Machar is being played with like a toy? He simply keeps smiling and mobilizing innocent Lou-Nuer (white army) and Equatorians for egoism.

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                • 19 August 2016 10:24, by Paul Ongee

                  The innocent young Lou-Nuer needs books and pens, not guns and ammos. If Riek Machar wasn’t aware if his political record, why would he not wait for election and campaign on the issue of the day (reform agenda) based on his record like what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are now doing in the US? It’s up to American citizens to choose their leader since 1776, but not to be imposed by IGAD or UN.

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                  • 19 August 2016 10:26, by Paul Ongee

                    If one of the US presidential hopefuls fails to win election next November, will he/she rebel because voters failed to agree with his/her reform agenda in the White House? This where the followers and sympathizers of Riek often fail to see and comprehend the real issue of the day and who is to be the real flag bearer of South Sudan.

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                    • 19 August 2016 10:28, by Paul Ongee

                      Dr. John Garang was able to philosophically unite not only South Sudanese but also Sudanese to fight the Islamic-based regime in Khartoum, which was not based on equality, freedom of expression and cultural diversity. When he died Joshua (Cde. Salva Kiir Mayardit) came in, and was able to repeatedly forgive the Khartoum-sponsored militia warlords for the sake of unity.

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                      • 19 August 2016 10:31, by Paul Ongee

                        President Salva Kiir is not a president for life as most of you guys assume. No any IO follower recalls exactly what was/are happening during the interim period when Khartoum reneged on implementation of CPA-2005 until North-South border is not up to now demarcated and we have what is called “outstanding issues” which we failed to get it implemented under the leadership of AUHIP, UN/Troika.

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                        • 19 August 2016 10:35, by Paul Ongee

                          To you IO followers, this interim period (2005-2011) is considered as dictatorship because you and Riek Machar in particular are obsessed only with leadership assumption at any cost through what is called “reform agenda” of the party. Why did he not bring up that reform agenda to Bashir or for the chairmanship of NCP which he feels that will ultimately bring him to Presidency?

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                          • 19 August 2016 10:35, by Paul Ongee

                            Do you think, some if not all, South Sudanese are not watching what is literally behind your mind of reform agenda? The usual problem with African leaders is failure to prepare a successor coupled with constitutional amendment to stay in power for another term. Term limit is not always observed. But it was not yet the case with South Sudan under President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

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                            • 19 August 2016 10:37, by Paul Ongee

                              However, the reform message is what Riek Machar is struggling to sell across the regional and international community as a legitimate political message that President Salva Kiir’s term (August 2005-December 15th, 2013) is over, which is contrary to his illusive reform agenda. And those, not like Riek Machar, who spent 21 solid years in the bush, jumped blindly on Riek’s wagon without analyzing…..

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                              • 19 August 2016 10:38, by Paul Ongee

                                ….where SPLM or Dr. Riek Machar has really come from and is heading. Imagine in 2010 during the election, Anjelina, the wife of Riek Machar contested as an independent candidate for the sake of holding gubernatorial position not because the people were against Taban Deng Gai. Riek backed his wife without considering the most desired unity of South Sudanese to vote 100% in referendum in Jan 2011.

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                                • 19 August 2016 10:39, by Paul Ongee

                                  Did Riek and his Anjelina have any idea about the real election issue of the day in 2010? Absolutely not. They were simply obsessed with holding position as he’s recovering in DRC and later give his press statement about a way forward to get him imposed on South Sudanese by IGAD, AU, UN/Troika. If not more blood is likely to be shed through so-called third-party, intervention or protection force.

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                                  • 19 August 2016 10:46, by Paul Ongee

                                    The imposition of Riek Machar on South Sudan through occupation, intervention or protection force paves the way for the cycle of violence which is already brewing should IGAD, AU or UNSC play wrong card in resolution of conflict in South Sudan without considering the post-war Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, leave alone Syria, DRC and CAR. They should tell Riek to wait for election day only. Period.

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                        • 19 August 2016 11:34, by Mr Point

                          What prevents Salva Kiir from being president for life, exactly ? Did you notice how his militia come out to take the life away from anyone who is critical of his failed policies. South Sudan is in debt and isolated because Kiir is not a leader and has no idea. Kiir’s actions have created a split nation and failed state.

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                      • 19 August 2016 10:45, by Malakal county Simon

                        Orange or whatever

                        your comparison is none-sense and not consistent with the root causes for this senseless war initiated by unwanted Kiir due to cling to power by force!!

                        Maybe If unwanted Kiir president accept the democratic nomination of the SPLM Chairmanship in 2013, for credible election to be hold for 2015, Maybe we wont’ be here today.. It’s Kiir senseless war and he must be countable.

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                        • 19 August 2016 11:14, by Paul Ongee

                          Ya Malakal County Girl,
                          Who’s telling you that Riek Machar is wanted or likeable in South Sudan? Why did he leave Khartoum in 2002? Followers of Riek do not have analytical mind. They are preoccupied with positions and fake military ranks. If Riek were to be imposed on South Sudanese, some tribes would go out and the very IGAD/UN/Troika would support them. You are new with double standard of West.

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                          • 19 August 2016 12:53, by Malakal county Simon

                            I was clearly saying if unwanted Kiir did not refused the peaceful SPLM leadership contests in 2013, Maybe we won’t be here in this crisis today. So clearly, Kiir is to be blames for fearing his opponents, refusing SPLM leadership challenge, and resort to violence as the result of this senseless war.....He is the perpetrator and he need to answer himself in ICC very soon!!!!!

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                            • 19 August 2016 13:03, by Malakal county Simon


                              2002? I,m not sure if I get what you meant by this 2002....Maybe more elaboration needed.... Anyway, No one is willing to impose Dr Machar but his popularity in the country, speak for itself compares to unwanted/failed President Kiir leave alone being impose by your unfound allegations!!!!

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  • 19 August 2016 14:51, by Dengda

    The question is, would Taban challenge Kiir in 2018 election if would he remain FVP by then? Or would Kiir accept him to run against him? I know nether of the two would happen. Kiir fear election that’s why the war broke in 2013 after Pagan, Riek and Nyandeng vowed to contest the same seat.Can some one with knowledge help me with these questions please

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