The military command of the South Sudan’s main rebel movement, the SPLA in Opposition, warns the newly formed South Sudan Opposition Alliance(SSOA), which comprises of smaller groups and individuals led by Dr. Lam Akol, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, Pagan Amum and Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirilo, to distance their search for “green pasture” from the SPLM/A(IO).
Lt. Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam, the former National Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development of the Transitional Government of National Unity, and the current Deputy Chief of Staff for Operation of SPLA(IO), believes that the alliance of these political parties is a political decoy to weaken and hijack the main armed Opposition under the leadership of the Former First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
“for those who think to hijack the movement for their own interests, especially the so called South Sudan Opposition Alliances (SSOA) must know that the SPLA IO forces are not fighting for green pastures.”
Lt. Gen. Duop reminds his former colleagues that the objective of his movement, the SPLM/A(IO), is to enforce reforms and democracy in the war-torn young nation and not a fight for position or recognition.
Gen. Duop believes that there is no alliance or any single rebel movement in South Sudan that would be stronger and capable to resist Salva Kiir Government and its foreign allies better than the SPLM/A(IO).
“We fight back the regime to achieve a radical reform in South South and in this sense , people of South Sudan should know that , there will be no a stronger movement more than the SPLM/A IO which will be able to resist Salva Kiir regime and its foriegn forces for a period of 5 years.”
The SPLM/A(IO) warns the Opposition Alliance that their people cannot be represented by a group of “power-hungry politicians” who have no physical presence at the grassroots but only appear from neighboring countries when it is time to negotiate power sharing.
“To keep it short, the blood and borns of our people in Uppernile , Greater Equatoria and western Bhar el Ghazale cannot be badly represented by power hungry politicians who did not participate in the physical war of South Sudan but always appear when ever there is peace talks for power sharing” Said Lt. Gen. Duop Lam
“it is good that we know your true colours” Gen. Duop concludes.
Lt. Gen. Duop abandoned his position as a Minister of Law in the then Jonglei State in December 2013. He was the 4th most senior general after Gen. Peter Gatdet Yak, Gen. Koang Chuol Ranley and Gen. Gathoth Gatkuoth to defect from the South Sudan army.
Gen. Duop abandoned his ministerial position in the Transitional Government again in January 2017 and returned to the bush to fight Salva Kiir’s government.
Like Gen. Duop many SPLM/A(IO) politicians, generals and supporters are keenly observing the alliance of other political parties that have so far shown very little interest in joining the SPLM/A(IO) or SPLM/A(IG) that have dominant presence in all the three regions of South Sudan.
The Opposition Alliance is comprised of disgruntled senior politicians and generals, who have defected from the government, however, majority of these parties have insignificant military influence on the ground in South Sudan.
So far the group is campaigning to exclude President Kiir and Dr. Machar from the transitional government of national unity saying that they have failed to manage previous transitions.
“President Kiir and Dr. Machar will not lead the transitional government because of their successive failures in managing the previous four transitions,” Read part of a document extended to Nyamilepedia.
The South Sudan Opposition Alliance include Hon. Gabriel Changson, leader of the Federal Democratic Party, Thomas Cirillo, leader of National Salvation Front, Lam Akol, leader of South Sudan’s National Democratic Movement, Bapiny Monytuil, chairman of SSLM/A, Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro, chairman of National Movement for Change, Costello Garang Ring, leader of South Sudan Patriotic Movement, Peter Gatdet Yak, chairman of South Sudan United Movement, Gatwech K. Thick, leader of UDRA, and Pagan Amum, leader of the SPLM-FDs.