Is it game over for Machar? Deputy SPLM-IO chairman Henry Odwar joins Gatwech.
According to a press release seen by NCMP, Deputy Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), Henry Odwar, has announced his defection, along with other senior SPLM-IO officials, to the SPLA-IO factional group of Kitgwang led by General Simon Gatwech Dual.
Odwar, a close supporter of First Vice President and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny, resigned earlier in the day as the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity’s minister of mining (R-TGONU).
Senior SPLM-IO officials in Juba explained earlier that his resignation was due to a ‘health issue’ and was unable to perform his duties as a minister in the unity government while maintaining that he remained the SPLM-IO deputy chairman and commander-in-chief.
In the press release seen by NCMP, Odwar broached a lot of issues and accused Machar of weakening the military system, presumably alluding to Machar’s June decision to declare the suspension of SPLA-IO military intelligence head Dhiling Keah Chuol null and invalid.
The organization said that it was “disappointed by Dr. Machar’s overt disregard for the SPLA-(IO) Military Command’s structure, as well as his illegal dismissal and reassignment of Senior Officers.”
“We, the members and leaders of the SPLM in Opposition (SPLM–IO) in and outside the country, convened an urgent virtual meeting under the auspices of the SPLM/A–(IO) Deputy Chairman and Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Hon. Henry Odwar, and seized the opportunity to respond to the Kit-Gwang Declaration and the outcome of the Political Bureau meeting held in Juba on August 4, 2021,” the press release seen by NCMP stated.
The Henry Odwar caucus said that they “acknowledge the ever-courageous stance and position of the Generals headed by Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual on the full execution of the Security Arrangements as a prerequisite for establishing a lasting peace and security in South Sudan.”
Henry fully aligned himself to the notorious Kit Gwang Declaration’s demand for the complete and unconditional implementation of the Peace agreement security arrangements, to be supervised by the United Nations or governments from outside the area.
In the release, the Henry Odwar loyalist said they are concerned and surprised that Machar can be quiet throughout the IGAD Heads of State’s prolonged incarceration and restriction of movement, which is taken as a sign of SPLM/A – (IO) weakness and submission.
The statement continued, “We regret and decry our inability to confront SPLM/A-IG’s refusal to fund the implementation of the R-ARCSS stipulated provisions,” and are “disappointed and discouraged by the use of the so-called SPLM/A-(IO) Pyramid Hotel Leadership meetings as a tactic to circumvent the SPLM/A-(IO) documents’ official policy of decision-making.”
They “noted with grave concern Dr. Riek Machar’s dismissal of the Chief of General Staff for refusing to accept an advisory position to President Salva Kiir Mayardit,” and are “concerned and disturbed by Dr. Riek Machar’s weak and compromised leadership quality, which has failed the former Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army – Nasir Faction, South Sudan Independent Movement (SSIM), and now the threat
“We, the undersigned members of the SPLM–(IO), in our various capacities in the PB, NLC, Committees, Country Representatives, and SPLM–(IO) passionate cadres, endorse the Kit-Gwang Declaration and extend our blessings to Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual and his team for steering the Movement and charting a more democratic and people-centered path,” they stated.
“Notwithstanding the above, we strongly urge all South Sudanese, including but not limited to the Opposition Groups, to join in seeking a fair and durable peace that brings prosperity to all.”
Find the full statement below: