General Makuach Teny quits SPLM-IO, Kitgwang Under Gen. Gen Simon Gatwech
JUBA – South Sudan opposition commander and former minister of culture and heritage Gen. James Makuach Teny has declared his intention to abandon the SPLM-IO Kitgwang faction under General Simon Gatwech Dual and join the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) under President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
In a statement to Thejubamirror news desk General Makuach said the SPLM-IO Kitgwang faction has no knowledge of what it is doing and that the group is neither for peace nor for war, stressing that standing behind President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement signed in 2018 is the only way to take South Sudanese towards peace and stability.
“Last year, I made the decision to join the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/SPLA-IO) under General Gatwech Dual Hoth and General Johnson Olony to advance what were then tactical delays for the implementation of the R-ARCSS because we were made to believe that he was for the full implementation of the revitalized peace agreement,” he said.
“Now, it is not clear as to whether the group is for peace or for war and as such, Today, I regrets to inform the public that I have decided to switch side from the Kitgwang group and join the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) under the leadership of His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit,” he stated.
Makuach was the minister of culture and heritage when South Sudan gained its independence in July 2011. He stayed in the position until when President Kiir sacked his entire cabinet in July 2013 sparking power struggle within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) which split into several tiny groups following the outbreak of violence in December 2013.
Makuach then fled to join the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) under First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny before defecting from the group around 2016. Last year, decided to join Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, accusing Machar of working against the principles on which basis the SPLM-IO was established and derailing the peace process.