September 3, 2015 (JUBA) – A new group calling itself Federal Democratic Party (FDP) led by South Sudan’s former culture and sports minister, Gabriel Changson Chang claimed destruction of government forces moving in barges along the River Nile towards Malakal on Tuesday.
The group of defectors from the armed opposition faction led by former vice president, Riek Machar, said their forces were responsible for the destruction of an army convoy of three barges and six gunboats in Jonglei state’s Fangak and Tonga county in Upper Nile state.
With their military wing, South Sudan Armed Forces (SSAF) allegedly led by Major General Peter Gatdet Yak, the group said they will be fighting against both the government led by president Salva Kiir and the opposition group led by Machar, since the latter had already joined the government.
Spokesperson of the group further claimed in a press statement extended to Sudan Tribune that Machar had lost control of his forces in the oil-rich Upper Nile state and that Major General Johnson Olony and Major General Gabriel Tanginya also joined them.
“Dr.Riek Machar has become part of Juba led government after signing the compromised peace agreement and has no control over the forces in Upper Nile state,” said Colonel Lony Thichiot Ngundeng, who claimed to be the spokesman of the group.
He said they have launched their military activity to fight the government, criticising the peace agreement signed president Kiir and Machar.
However, the armed opposition led by Machar also issued a number of statements saying clashes occurred between their forces and government troops moving in the river and that a barge was destroyed.