August 3, 2021 (MALAKAL) – The SPLM/A-IO military command under the Chief of General Staff First Lieutenant General Simon Gatwech Dual has denounced the leadership of Riek Machar and appointed the former as the new interim chairman of the armed opposition movement.
- Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, the chief of staff of the SPLA-IO, talks to the press at a rebel military site in Juba on April 25, 2016 (Photo AFP/Charles Lomodong)
The decision to oust Machar, the SPLM/A-IO said in a statement, emerged after a three-day meeting held at Magenis (Kitgwang) Sector One headquarters in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state.
“During the meeting, the military command leadership discussed serious matters that addressed why the chairman and commander in chief (C.IN.C) Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon absconded the movement without consulting the military leadership, opted to go to Juba and took with him all political forces and three (3) days later, he was appointed and accepted to take oath as the first Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan,” partly reads a document extended to Sudan Tribune Wednesday.
The SPLM-IO splinter faction said Machar has “completely failed in the governance system and that his “incompetence” neither provides robust, nor equality transparent and effective leadership.
“Therefore, his policy of divide and rule within the SPLM/SPLA-(IO) for the last eight (8) years, led to many splits in the movement such as July 2015, August 2016, and March 2020, and this is not his first time to rush into such naive decision but it has been his habitual decision to mobilize the innocent people to uprise against the system,” further noted the August 3, 2021 declaration.
The declaration, also copied to the regional bloc (IGAD), stressed the faction’s full support and commitment to the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement signed in September 2018.
It called for the unity of all ethnic groups, political parties, youth groups, faith-based groups, women groups to support the country’s integrity.
The First Vice President’s office earlier said Dual was no longer the SPLA-IO’s chief of staff.
In June, President Salva Kiir appointed Dual as an advisor for peace, a position the latter rejected.