South Sudan armed opposition faction led by ousted vice president Riek Machar resolved to reorganize its military wing to wage a popular armed resistance against Kiir’s government in order to bring peace, freedom, and democracy in South Sudan.
This comes in a resolution adopted by members of the SPLM-IO Political Bureau during their meetings chaired by Riek Machar in the Sudanese capital Khartoum from 20 until 23 September. It is the first official position issued by the arm group’s top leadership since Machar left Juba in July.
Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, spokesman of the SPLM-IO faction, confirmed to Radio Tamazuj that the armed opposition leadership meeting in Khartoum resolved to fight against the current government in Juba.
“The important point in the meeting is that we should organize armed resistance against the regime so that the people of South Sudan can enjoy peace and stability, if Salva Kiir remains in power, there will not be peace and reconciliation,” said Manawa.
However, the armed opposition faction said in parts of its resolution that last August’s peace deal should be resuscitated to ensure its full implementation with the support of the international community.
The SPLM-IO leadership further said the peace agreement and the unity government have collapsed, while calling on the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) and other peace monitoring bodies to suspend their activities until the peace agreement is resuscitated and the unity government is reinstituted and reconstituted.
The armed group called for deployment of regional forces in order to salvage the peace deal and thereafter the demilitarization of major towns and cantonment of forces in South Sudan.
The SPLM-IO top leadership condemned the appointment of Taban Deng Gai as the First Vice President replacing Machar, saying the opposition party resolved to dismiss Taban Deng and all its senior members who joined Kiir’s government in Juba.
The resolution also accused Kiir’s government of attempting to assassinate opposition leaders during fighting in Juba. Machar’s group called on the international community to declare the current regime in Juba a rogue government for lacking the political will to implement the peace agreement.