Gatwech’s allies say Mabior Garang ‘no longer a member’ of Kitgwang faction


A South Sudan opposition diplomat loyal to former army chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM/SPLA-IO), General Simon Gatwech Dual, has said that former SPLM-IO spokesman Mabior Garang De Mabior is no longer a member of the opposition Kitgwang faction, saying he has decided to return to Juba to join the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit ahead of the holdout opposition leadership


Mabior Garang had since last year been critical of First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny saying the powerful opposition leader had surrendered to President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s government at the expense of the implementation of the security arrangements provided for in the 2018 revitalized peace agreement they signed, along with several rebel groups, with President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s government.


However, an abrupt return to Juba on Saturday by Mabior upon invitation of President Salva Kiir Mayardit sparked criticisms against Mabior for having ‘misled’ the opposition public that he won’t return to South Sudan’s capital Juba without the full implementation of the revitalized peace agreement which would have seen the reunification of the country’s rival forces to form a professional national army.


In a statement following Mabior’s arrival at Juba International Airport from Nairobi, South Sudan presidency said the son of the SPLM/SPLA founder Dr. John Garang De Mabior “was in Nairobi Kenya due political reasons [and] returned back to the Country today upon an invitation of H.E President Salva Kiir Mayardit for him to return back home.”


Speaking to Sudans Post on Sunday morning, a senior opposition diplomat allied to General Simon Gatwech Dual said in the Sudanese capital Khartoum that Gen. Gatwech has not authorized the return of Mabior Garang to Juba and that the former opposition spokesman was no longer allied to the SPLM-IO Kitgwang faction.

“Yes the movement under H.E. 1st Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual is aware that Mabior Garang de Mabior has decided to return to Juba on his own decision. He was not authorized by the Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) to return to Juba, but he took the decision on his own and as such is no longer a member of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) anymore,” the diplomat who requested not to be named said.


“We wish Mabior all the best in his new political path, for us, we are still standing for the cause and we have raised our concerns regarding the future of the security arrangements in our meeting with the delegation of President Salva and we are waiting for them, but we will not return to Juba until when all the arrangements are in place for the security arrangements to be implemented,” the official further added


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