Machar aide says James Kok Ruea ‘known’ for ‘defecting here and there’
“We are not surprised with the defection of James Kok because this is not the first time. He is known for that; defecting here and there.”
JUBA – A South Sudan main armed opposition official allied to First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny has said that opposition politician and member of parliament James Kok Ruea who defected last week to join the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) faction led by President Salva Kiir is known for defection from party to party.
James Kok defected last Thursday to join the SPLM faction under President Kiir saying First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny and the leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) has neglected the people of Fangak County in Jonglei state and that returning to the SPLM faction under President Kiir was the only solution to the negligence from the SPLM-IO.
“I thought we will be able to implement what they call in the SPLM-IO ‘reform agenda’ and this is why I joined the SPLM-IO under Dr. Riek Machar in 2020. But these promises of reforms have turned out to be daylight dreams,” James Kok said last week when contacted by Sudans Post.
“So, I decided that it was better to return to the mother SPLM and I thank the leadership of his excellency the President of the Republic General Salva Kiir Mayardit for welcoming me and my team to the SPLM party again,” the controversial opposition politician added.
When contacted, the Press Secretary in the Office of the First Vice President and SPLM-IO Director of National Committee for Information and Public Relations Puok Both Baluang said the main armed opposition group is not that much concerned over the defection of James Kok Ruea.
While saying the opposition politician turned SPLM-IO rival hasn’t raised any concerned during internal SPLM-IO meetings, Baluang said the group is not surprised about his decision to declare and switch his allegiance to the SPLM faction under Kiir saying he is known for defection.
“We are concerned that this departure happened in the time of peace instead of focusing on how to implement the agreement,” Baluang told the Juba-based City Review newspaper.
“We are not surprised with the defection of James Kok because this is not the first time. He is known for that; defecting here and there. We believe he has all rights to choose his side,” he added, before concluding: “He had not raised any concern internally that made him leave the party.”