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Rival faction claims Machar has failed South Sudan peace implementation

Infighting continues between factions in the SPLM-IO group led by South Sudan FVP Riek Machar

By Okech Francis

South Sudan’s main opposition in the peace implementation, led by First Vice President Riek Machar has split over his leadership failures, a leading figure in the group said.

This month witnessed a revolution in Machar’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition with key figures including his former military chief, Simon Gatwech Dual and former deputy Henry Odwar splitting from him.

Fighting has also been going on between forces who remained loyal to him and the group that split, and threatening a peace agreement which analysts believe has ever been “fragile.”

The peace agreement is meant to pacify the country and return it to the path of democracy after years of crisis which left 400,000 people dead and displaced four million others.

The war which began in 2013 raged for six years, slashing crude oil production and leaving the economy in tatters.

Machar joined President Salva Kiir in the implementation of the deal signed in September 2018 as early as February 2020.

“We actually do not believe that Dr Riek Machar is in control of the situation in Juba,” Mabior Garang De Mabior, who also joined the renegade faction led by Gatwech told Juba Echo in an interview.

“We believe a mafia within our movement have kidnapped him to Juba and are extorting him politically,” Mabior said.

According to Mabior, Machar is even no longer in control of the forces who are instead “being controlled by this mafia who lured Dr. Riek to Juba.”

“This crisis has led to a split in the movement and those in Juba are desperate to show the world they have the situation under control,” he said.

Mabior said Machar’s plans are just to garner positions for the group around him in Juba and abandoning the peace deal.

“In three years, they have only implemented chapter one, basically dividing jobs,” Mabior said.

“They focused only in ratios for power-sharing and even started dividing positions which were not meant in the agreement and the entire reform agenda has been neglected,” he said.

According to Mabior, the Kit Gwang declaration is about returning the peace implementation on track.

“The issue is not about positions. It is about bringing political stability to the country. It is about the implementation of security arrangements or lack thereof,” Mabior said.

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