AUTHOR: Daniel Garang Deng | PUBLISHED: May 13, 2023
New members posed for a group picture with the SPLM Secretary General Peter Lam Both.
The leadership SPLM has on Friday received an influx of 119 members of the SPLM-IO who defected from Dr. Riek, Olong and Gatwich to Kiir Camp claiming poor leadership and corruption in the oppositions group.
Among the defectors, 25 are Kitgwang and Agwelek’s advanced team to Juba led by Maj Gen Daniel Adiang Yak and Maj Gen. Sebit Kong Kuot and others from the SPLM-IO under Dr. Riek Machar were led by Yohanies Kujiek Ruot and other generals.
“We, officers of Kitgwang and Agwelek’s advance team to Juba, do hereby declare our defection from Kitgwang and Agwelek leadership that is led and commanded by Simon Gatwecha and Gen. Jognson Olony,” statement from Kitgwang and Agwelek team reads. “We, therefore, have taken a decision to join the government under the leadership of Salva Kiir in order to help him make peace prevail in all corners of South Sudan,”
The group accused their leaders of having no will to implement the agreement they signed with government in Khartoum in 2022.
“Gen. Olony signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement on January 16, 2022, with the government but later refused to implement it. He instead issued several political statements that resulted in calling all opposition forces to form a new front with the intention of overthrowing the government in Juba while knowing that its advanced team is still in Juba,” statement partly reads.
SPLM Secretary General Peter Lam Both confirmed that he has received a huge number of defectors from SPLM-IO groups.
“We received these groups of 119 new members from SPLM-IO and Kitwang. I appeal to you, the new members, to go to the grassroots and do more mobilization for the SPLM,” Lam welcomed the defectors on Friday at SPLM National Secretariat.
The defectors came from three different groups, SPLM-IO under Machar in Panyijiar County of Unity State, Lou Nuer and Kitwgwang/Agwelek under Johnson Olony and Simon Gatwich.
The leadership of SPLM-IO under Dr. Riek and Kitgwang/Agwelek are yet to comment on the defection.
Late last month, General Johnson Olony was expected in Juba for the implementation of the Khartoum Peace agreement that he signed with the government to integrate his forces into South Sudan People defense forces (SSPDF) but since then, he has not arrived Juba despites his advance team being presence in Juba.
His advance have not informed the public why their boss is taking long to come to Juba.