16th June 2019
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IO in TGoNU splits, Gen. Gathoth made interim chairman

Authors: Joakino Francis | | Published: 4 months ago

Gen. Gathoth Gatkuoth, addressing Press Conference in Juba, Monday, February 25, 2019. By Joakino Francis @eyeradio

Members of the SPLM/A-IO in the TGoNU have issued a vote of no confidence against their leader first vice president Taban Deng Gai.

The SPLM/A IO, led by the first vice president is a splinter group comprising former members of the main opposition group under Dr. Riek Machar ,who opted to remain in Juba following the renewed fighting in Juba in July 2016.

Two months after the dogfight, President Salva Kiir replaced Dr. Machar with Taban, whom he chose to implement the rest of the 2015 peace agreement.

However, the IO members headed by a former SPLM/A-IO military leader Gathoth Gatkuoth base the no-confidence vote on a decision Taban Deng Gai made last year.

During the national liberation council meeting of the ruling party in May, Taban disbanded his IO faction allegedly without consulting them.

The members say during a press conference that Taban’s decision led confusion, uncertainty about the future and the fate of the faction and its members.

In a statement, the members made Gathoth Gatkuoth interim chairman of IO in government; and Otim David, interim secretary-general.

Mr. David who read out the statement at a press conference, on Monday, in Juba, said his group has formed an interim governing council.

“We are here to deliver vote of no confidence on the leadership of Gen. Taban Deng Gai as the FVP, chairman and commander in-chief of SPLM/A-IO, and the formation of the new interim governing council to manage the affairs of the party,” he said.

For his part, Gatkuoth, a former general who has been blacklisted by the UN Security Council for the role he played during the December 2013 conflict, declared himself as the leader of IO in TGoNU.

“I will be carrying the cross of the SPLM/A-IO for 100 days to negotiate with Salva Kiir, the chairman of the SPLM;  we will go to SPLM independently, without Taban,” Gen. Gathoth said.

In response, the spokesman in the office of the first vice president, Agel Machar describes the accusations as wild.

“I can say that some of the things that they have claimed are too wild and preposterous and they are out of taught with realities whether it is with ARCISS or with Revitalized agreement on the conflict in South Sudan,” Agel has said.

Agel said that nobody has the authority to remove Taban Deng, as the first vice president.

“The removal of the first vice president is not the work of anybody, he was brought by the top leadership of the SPLM/A-IO to replace Dr. Riak Machar after the incident of 2016 July in J1.”

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