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Ex- presidential adviser abandons S. Sudan’s main rebel group


January 11, 2018 (JUBA) - A former presidential adviser, who was initially a member of the South Sudan’s armed opposition movement led by the country’s former first vice-president, Riek Machar has announced the formation of a breakaway faction from the latter.

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South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar addresses a news conference in Uganda’s capital Kampala January 26, 2016 (Reuters photo)

Albert Abdullah, in a statement issued Thursday, said the Eastern Front Army, which he leads, was formed with objectives to fight against the current system of governance so as to create federalism.

The group, the statement added, did not start with military operation because its members decided to give peaceful efforts opportunity to explore ways to achieve peaceful settlement of the ongoing war.

The former presidential aide confirmed, in a phone interview with Sudan Tribune, the authenticity of the statement issued to the public.

“Yes, yes, you are speaking to Hon. Abdallah Albert, chairman and commander in chief of Eastern Front. The release you saw is our statement. It is an announcement of formation of the new movement. Our objectives are very clear. One, we are fighting for establishment of federalism,” said Abdullah.

He claimed the current system of governance is causing a lot of problems and was what caused the civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions since December 2013.

“Everything is done in Juba on behalf of the local people because it is central system as you know,” said the former presidential advisor.

He further explained, “Their claims that it is decentralized are untrue. Everything is done in Juba and [President] Salva Kiir is everything. That is the cause of the current war. To correct that, we decided to form a movement that will fight for the establishment of federalism”.

The ex-aide claimed he defected from Machar because the latter had failed to look for arms and provide them to his people for war.

“I noticed neither Riek Machar nor other groups have interest in Eastern Equatoria. Riek Machar from example does not have any agenda for the people of Eastern Equatoria. Since I joined the movement, there has never been a single day he called me to ask about the challenges we are facing in Eastern Equatoria and how these challenges could be resolved,” Abdullah told Sudan Tribune.

He added, “We therefore realized he [Machar] has no any agenda and so we, the leaders from Eastern Equatoria state, decided to form our own movement to fight and protect the interest, lives and properties of the people of Eastern Equatoria”.

A former member of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP), Abdullah joined the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party, but defected to the armed opposition under the Machar when political debates within the SPLM escalated into war in 2013.

However, before the signing of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, Abdullah served a presidential adviser on development affairs. He later served as education minister in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state and Imatong county’s commissioner.


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  • 12 January 2018 07:41, by Nairobimitot

    It is a good thing that you understand Riek Machar does not have an agenda. He has been known to confuse people so people can fight on his behalf, and we you battle for Riek Machar, he does not give you the bullet, and he doesn’t give you food. Riek Machar doesn’t have anybody, how they are doing today? Nobody knows what Riek Machar is going to bring to his supporters. The supporters of Riek Machar believe in witchcraft to fight Riek Machar war, and they are proud of it, and they do dance a lot when they are going to war without bullets and guns.
    Enough is enough, no more wars. You need to make peace with the government of South Sudan. No more bloodshed.

    repondre message

    • 12 January 2018 08:34, by Sunday Junup

      So your problem is food right? I’m not a Riek Machar supporter or any South Sudanese politician supporter but i do tell the reality. Put yourself into Riek shoes and send bullets from S.A to this man if this can happen. This man was looking for food like you that is why he abandon the fight. Why did he tart with dialogue if he mean to fight? The guy most be joking

      repondre message

    • 12 January 2018 11:36, by jubaone

      Riak is not the reason why everybody is rebelling, but the jienges. Their insatiable greed, unruly and lawless nature is the reason NO any SS ethnicities wants to have anything to do with them. Even Jienges themselves are at war, for what? Bcoz they enjoy killing themselves and others like savages. Ungodly and devilish

      repondre message

      • 12 January 2018 12:05, by South South


        Please join the peace loving people today and leave alone people like Sunday Junup. We need peace in 2018. This man from Eastern Equatoria who defected and formed his own faction can speak to all of us that something is not Ok with IO camp. Why people are running away from Riek’s IO everyday? No Dinka in Riek’s camp, so the issue is not Dinka anymore.

        repondre message

        • 12 January 2018 13:36, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

          South South,

          Peace without justice is null and void. Kiir and JCE should be housed in blue house so that peace sets foot in the country. Anything less than that is impractical.

          repondre message

          • 12 January 2018 15:02, by South South

            jur_likang_a_ likan’g,

            Read this article again before your put out any comment. The article is not about Kiir, it’s about Riek’s IO. Peopl are running away from Riek.

            repondre message

        • 12 January 2018 14:01, by jubaone

          South South,
          Neither the IG nor IO is the panacea for our miseries and when such former NCP runaways form their own rebellion, it shows that something in the ountry is fundamentally wrong. Kiirminal foolishly is defying common logic; he CANT win this war, unless all come genuinely on board. It may be too late to reconcile junubin. Lets agree to disgree and part ways.

          repondre message

          • 12 January 2018 15:00, by South South


            When people like this man from Eastern Equatoria broke away from Riek’s IO, it shows us that there is something wrong with Riek’s camp. Second, forming tiny factions is good for the government in Juba because no single small faction will fight a real war, therefore, peace is the only option. Things like let’s depart away and form countries in South Sudan is not just untrue, but laughable

            repondre message

  • 12 January 2018 20:41, by Eastern

    The name alone speaks volume...Any South Sudanese who has been a member of the NCP better be left to their own devices. The dinka regime in Juba shouldn’t jubilate yet!

    repondre message

    • 12 January 2018 21:27, by South South


      All those who are making noises and confusions in South Sudan were members of NCP including Riek, period.

      repondre message

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