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SPLM-IO figures defect to Kiir saying their group turned into "family dynasty"

Dak Duop Bichiok speak to the media in Juba to announce his defection to Kiir on 16 April 2020 (ST photo)
April 16, 2020 (JUBA) - A new group of SPLM-IO members have shifted alliance to the SPLM-IG under the leadership of President Salva Kiir blaming Machar of turning the party into "a family dynasty".

In a press conference, a group led by Dak Duop Bichiok SPLM-IO Political Bureau member declared their resignation from the Movement.

"We strongly felt in different with the way the chairman runs the SPLM-IO. We see no direction or vision. That is why we have decided to resign, it is our right," said the splinters in a statement read by Bichiok.

"The Party has turned into family dynasty where the chairman and his family runs it like a personal property the functions of important organs have been rendered irrelevant," he further said.

Following what the statement frontally attacked Machar claiming that "the chairman and his wife’s lust for power and resource is squarely responsible for disharmony in the movement".

The SPLM-IO was established in Nasir on 16 April 2014 four months after the eruption of violence in Juba. While the military structure of SPLA-IO had to wait until the Pagak conference in December 2014.

The fighting in the army barracks on 15 December 2013 between Dinka troops loyal to Kiir and Nuer troops loyal to Machar followed by the systematic killing of Nuer in the streets of Juba made that the SPLM-IO was formed on tribal lines to defend Nuer interests.

But several Nuer leaders split from Machar since August 2015 when Peter Gatdet and Gathoth Gatkuoth broke away accusing Machar of “seeking power for himself”.

Recently on 18 March, several generals led by the SPLA-IO, Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration, Lt. General James Koang Chuol Ranley and the Deputy Director of National Security Services (NSS) Maj. Gen. James Wang Chany, joined the government.

Bichiok was a former minister in the united Sudan, served as a governor on NCP ticket and as a minister in the coalition government in 2015, a position he resigned when conflict erupted again in 2016.

Observers in Juba agree that Machar should not have him left out in the recent selection of the cabinet members.

(ST)