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S. Sudan rebel commander says rivalry undermines struggle

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January 10, 2017 (JUBA) - A top South Sudanese rebel commander has warned that rivalry between two rebel factions poses a threat to the cause for which the two camps pledged to pursue jointly.

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Maj. Gen. Peter Gadet

Violence has, in recent weeks, risen in parts of South Sudan, which is dominated by the rebels under the command and leadership of former First Vice-President, Riek Machar.

Observers say disputes between Machar’s predominantly ethnic Nuer and Lam Akol’s Shilluk is attributed to the latest wave of power struggles between the rival factions.

The violence includes political assassinations disrupting the common goal for which the two rebels came into existence and threatens to destabilize the entire country.

So far, 2 top rebel commanders, all allied to Akol’s National Democratic Movement — have been assassinated in what seems a contest for influence and control of the area.

Peter Gadet, a top rebel commander and one of those who defected from Machar before the signing of the 2015 peace agreement, sees a link between the two rebel factions as a threat to the cause for taking arms struggle against the Juba regime.

“Everyone was caught by surprise by what happened in Upper Nile. Nobody was expecting that. Nobody was expecting that the differences in views would escalate into the killings between colleagues whose objective is one: to remove the dictatorial regime under Salva Kiir in Juba. By turning on each other in the bush, what have they achieved than killing themselves?" Gadet told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

He added, "They have now empowered the regime, which I believe is the one engineering this. It is the regime”.

Gadet said rivalry has shifted to who should have leverage and control over the local people.

"This wave of violence shows there is a real threat that it would derail the focus on the main cause for which these movements were formed. “We are now talking about a security situation that is different than the sectarian fighting, when there are groups fighting against the government and against those who cooperated with the government," the top rebel commander stressed.

"We now have two main groups in the same community and they both accept the political process. But each one wants to be the sole representative of the movement and within the area," he added.

Last week, top rebel commanders, Gabriel Tanginye and Yohanis Okiech were killed in an apparent power struggle in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state.

(ST)

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  • 11 January 07:03, by Akuma

    Gen. Gatdet,

    Since you know very that your house is not in order. You and Olony will be the next after Tanginya and Yohanis gone already

    repondre message

  • 11 January 07:08, by Midit Mitot

    Gatdet,
    You are the cause that should be remove first, you don,t stand firm on your feet, you are the power adultery. whom are you blaming now?

    repondre message

    • 11 January 07:51, by Gab Daneil

      Gadet Yak is a useless leader. his numerous defections every now and then is what has killed Riek’s Chances now once and for all. I pray you Getdat and Olony get killed this year. you are useless are are curse to nuer and cholo

      repondre message

    • 12 January 08:31, by Mayom County Troops

      I think my fellows Nuer commanders will not blame any body except Dr Riek Machar Teny and is brother in Law Taban Deng Gai ,due of rebellion that cause much bloodshed to all Nuer who lose their lives during this crisis since 2013 upto this time

      repondre message

  • 11 January 12:34, by Dengda

    Gadet should blame himself first, what cause weakness of IO and J1 rest with him and other generals who boycott the August 2015 CPA. That trend will continues and Kiir-Taban will continue to pay scarcity dollar to destabilised IO and other rebellion which betrayed terribly.

    repondre message

  • 11 January 12:35, by Fair Man

    General James Gatdet Yaak
    Time has come for you know to ignore the differences you might have making you abandon the IO. Come and take over the Operations common and join your brothers forthe sake peace. As alluded, Juba is laughing and happy when comrades turn against one another. You neighbor committed an treasonable offense against IO, it was a mere indifference with the Chairman. Please come.

    repondre message

    • 11 January 14:39, by Redeemer

      For those who are blaming Gatdet, for changing saids what about Dr Riek? how many times did he change saids?

      repondre message

  • 12 January 01:02, by Uncle J

    That was a dog fight and that dog should continue so that Lam Akol and Riek Machar the hopeless politicians who think using their people in rebellions is a shotcut to presidency learn a bitter lesson

    repondre message

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