Gai Machiek: I am not a rebel and not involved in Abyei attacks
By Sudans Post
November 21, 2023 Disputed region of Abyei. [Photo by Sudans Post]JUBA – Spiritual leader Gai Machiek has dismissed, as “false”, the claim by government authorities in Abyei Special Administrative Area that he was involved in the deadly attack on Sunday in which around 32 people were killed there.
Heavily armed youth suspected to have come from Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal State launched apparent coordinated attacks on several villages in Warrap killing 32 and wounding more than 20, according to authorities in Abyei.
The Abyei authorities claimed afterword that the youth coming from Twic Mayardit of Warrap were led by Gai Machiek who they identified as a rebel general belonging to General Stephen Buay Rolnyang’s South Sudan People’s Movement/Army.
They also claimed that armed youth who attacked from the direction of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State were ordered by the commander of the 3rd infantry division of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) Gen. Akuei Ajou.
But speaking to Sudans Post on phone from Ajak Kuach this morning, Machiek said the claims that he is involved in the attacks are false and described the conflict as a war between Twic and Ngok Dinka.
“It is false. The war between the Ngok and Twic since it begun, is theirs. So, I am not involved in it. It is their (Ngok) war with Twic and I am not involved,” he said on phone.
When asked of his ties with Gen. Akuei who is also known locally as “Akuei Abusala” in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, the spiritual leader said he has never spoke to Akuei and reiterated his innocence but said he will defense himself if attacked.
“[General] Akuei [Ajou], I never spoke to him even. I am in Ajak with my people and any person who will attack me, I will defend myself. But in this war, I am not involved. It is Twic fighting them [Ngok],” he added.
The spiritual leader further stressed that: “It is much better to seek out facts than relying on rumours. What is happening is totally out of my understanding and control and it really hurts me and don’t understand why people are involving me.”
When asked of his ties to General Stephen Buay’s group, Machiek denied any connection, saying he lives in a government-controlled territory and would have been arrested by the authorities if he were a rebel.
“You know where I am. I live in Ajak which is part of Twic which is under the government of Warrap and is under the government of Juba. How come I am a rebel and at the same time I live in a place where the government is the one controlling?” he asked.
Younis Atem, one of Machiek’s associates said the forces in Ajak Kuac are not enough to launch an attack on Abyei, challenging Sudans Post to travel there and see if there are any forces that can be capable of attacking.