South Sudan rebel chief, Riek Machar, has spoken out on a military coup declared on him by his top most Generals.
Earlier Tuesday, rebel Gen Peter Gatdet announced in the Sudan capital Khartoum that he had overthrown Machar and denounced him as the chairman of the opposition.
Gatdet cited the failure to keep the movement united and going as well as the striking of a deal with Salva Kiir to make Machar a First Vice President.
Gatdet said he would not recognize a peace deal signed by Machar, saying other army Generals and the deadly Nuer White Army were also in his support.
In a statement released by Nyarji Jermlili Roman, the Deputy spokesperson Office of the chairman Office of the chairman of SPLM/A, Machar says he has reliably been informed through media reports about “the fallacy and the effortless defection of two generals namely: Maj. Gen.Petrer Gatdet Yaka former deputy chief of staff operations in SPLA-IO and Maj. Gen. Gathoth Gatkuoth Ganyang former deputy chief of staff”.
He says while the duo regrettably announced their defection in Sudanese capital, Khartoum, their decision will never serve the interest of the people of South Sudan currently facing untold pain and suffering through duress of corruption and injustices.
He assured the people of South Sudan, SPLM/A’s supporters, people of the region and international community that the step taken by Gen. Peter Gatdet and Gen. Gathoth is not first of its kind in history but a continuation and genetic conduct they have been engaged in since the history of the struggle.
“The SPLM/A strongly disassociate itself from the negative actions they have taken, the SPLM/A has invested a significant amount of time and resources to free people of South Sudan from dictatorship and oppression since its inception more than 3 decades ago.”
“We are affirming to our people that the two generals never represent and will not in anyway be the voice of our more than 50 generals in the revolution.”
Opposition says Gen.Gatdet Yaka and Gen.Gathoth Gatkuoth don’t represent the entire SPLM/A generals; there are than 50 generals in the ranks and files of people’s movement under the leadership of Dr.Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, the chairman and C-in-C of SPLM/A.
“The two generals cannot and will never oust Dr. Riek Machar Teny- Dhurgon as alleged in their press release of declaration to defect, because Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, was elected in the position as a chairman of revolutionary movement SPLM/A in Nasir by political leaders, military leaders and civil society organisations.”
Opposition insists the removal of the chairman (Machar) can only be legally effected by the same conference that elected the entire leadership of the SPLM/A, two generals sitting under a tree in Khartoum don’t have the authority to usurp the powers of the Nasir delegations.
“Dr. Riek Machar still remains the legitimate and supreme head of SPLA forces in the liberated areas and will eventually take full control of SPLA forces across the country.”
Machar says the appointments, relieves and dismissals of officers are normal leadership restructuring procedures in any organization and shouldn’t be exploited by anti-peace elements as source of settling grudges and grievances.
“It’s shamefully regrettable conduct in nature and betrayal of the movement when senior members of the movements consider personal development over national interest of the citizens, instead of facing Kiir’s regime, now we are facing former close comrades in this challenging moment of our history.”
He reassured the public that this “baseless press statement will never dis-stabilize the movement`s capacity to fight the dictatorial regime in Juba or the peace talks in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia. The movement cadres remain strongly loyal to the chairman of SPLM and commander in chief of SPLA.”