The South Sudan First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar is set to lose out his position anytime as the top leadership of his faction zero on Gen. Taban Gai Deng to takeover.
On Thursday leaders of SPLA- In Opposition held a meeting in Juba and concluded that their missing leader should be replaced with the Mining Minister Gen. Taban Deng who was Machar’s chief negotiator during the peace talks in Addis Ababa.
The First Vice President has been in hiding for the last two weeks since the war broke out between his forces and that of President Salva Kiir early this month.
Kiir who nowadays refers to Machar as his brother has been calling on him to come out for man to man talks but nothing fruitful has been realized.
Machar fled from his home on 9th July when an elite unit of SPLA reportedly hunting for the forces that attacked the presidential palace on 8th July, bombed it.
The former rebel leader has cut contacts with everyone including the political members of his group.
According to sources Kiir’s allies have been in talks with SPLA-IOleaders in Juba to assume leadership from Machar since he has decided to run away.
“The progressive SPLA-IO leaders who love peace have agreed to put their trust in Gen. Taban. There is no way Dr. Machar’s absence can hold everyone hostage,” a source in South Sudan government told
On Friday morning Dr. Machar issued a statement ordering all his followers and combatants to cut communications with Gen. Taban and his allies.
“First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/SPLA-IO), His Excellency, Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, has directed all SPLA-IO commanders and units to cut off communication with Mining Minister, General Taban Deng Gai, and few individuals who are with him,” part of the statement reads.
The statement accused Kiir to be behind what has been described as a conspiracy to dismantle the peace agreement signed last year.
“Gen. Taban and friends are behind a conspiracy engineered by President Sava Kiir’s faction to divide the SPLM/SPLA (IO), and to dismantle the August 2015 peace agreement using them. Dr. Riek Machar
has already sent out the message to all units in the country.”