South Sudan rebel chief, opposition led by Riek Machar, has pronounced itself on the issue of security and position regarding power sharing arrangements in the interim period.
According to Mabior Garang De Mabior (Chairperson) National Committee for Information and Public Relations, the son of South Sudan founder, Dr John Garang, the opposition deemed it necessary to clarify on “a couple of issues being distorted by our detractors”.
“It has come to the attention of the leadership of the SPLM/SPLA that our position is being misrepresented by our detractors; misleading the public and by so doing, jeopardizing the peace process.”
Mabior says the detractors allege that the SPLM/SPLA wants to have two armies in the Republic of South Sudan, and that the SPLM/SPLA sole objective is to negotiate Dr. Riek Machar into power.
“The SPLM/SPLA would like to categorically refute these allegations and make clear to the public what the position of the Movement is with regard to these issues: The SPLM/SPLA is in favor of a separation of forces during the interim period; within which the various forces shall be amalgamated and constituted into a professional, national, standing army.”
He said the SPLM/SPLA believes “this is necessary, as the Administration of Salva Kiir has failed dismally to transform the former guerilla units into a professional, national, standing army; as is mandated by the Transitional Constitution of the Republic”.
“This in actual fact means that there is no army, and this has been admitted by the (former) Chief of General Staff, and (current) Minister of Defense of the Salva Kiir Administration.”
The opposition clarified that it does not subscribe to the idea of having two national armies for the Republic; however, integration is untenable in light of the fact that there is no national army.
The SPLM/SPLA contention is that the peace process provides the best opportunity for the Republic of South Sudan to build a professional, national, standing army from the various armed groups across the country.
The Movement; in addition, would like to clarify our position regarding to power sharing.
The SPLM/SPLA assured the public that the Movement is not seeking power for the sake of negotiating Dr. Riek Machar into power, as “misleadingly presented by our detractors”.
The Movement is negotiating in Addis Ababa for political and security sector reforms; and for accountability, said Mabior.
“The contention of the SPLM/SPLA is that the power which shall implement the reforms negotiated with our partners in peace must be shared.”
“The SPLM/SPLA felt it prudent to clarify these points in light of the negative propaganda fabricated by our detractors, which the Movement is certain could jeopardize the peace process.”