News, Northern Bahr el-ghazal

South Sudan’s ruling party members defect to opposition

By Ngor Deng

Two cadres of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party in Northern Bahr El Ghazal state have defected to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO).

The two prominent members who joined the SPLM-IO also resigned from key positions they held in SPLM state chapter.

Mr. Bona Baak Apeny, Director for Information, Culture, and Communications, and Cde. Gabriel Bol Dut, director for popular and syndicated organizations for SPLM, changed their allegiance, on Saturday.

However, there were no clear reasons given by the duo as to why they deserted Kiir for Machar’s political camp.

Mr. Bona Baak made his position crystal clear in the declaration letter seen by the outlet.

“I really appreciate the time we spent together serving the people of South Sudan and the people of Mading Aweil in particular,” he said.

“On the other hand, I have officially declared my joining the SPLM-IO under the leadership of Cde Dr. Riek Machar Teny (PhD) and Cde Aweng Ibrahim Akoon of NBGS with effect from this date mentioned (17 June 2023),” Bona declared.

He also claimed that he deserted the SPLM and joined the SPLM-IO along with huge followers.

“I left with many supporters who are from my area of Thiok-Ajuet of Ayai Payam of Aweil South County to join the SPLM-IO,” Bona noted.

Mr. Bona claimed poor service delivery to his people that has subjected them to misery was responsible for the defection.

“Our people have suffered for long without services such as water, roads, and communications networks while I am working tirelessly supporting the SPLM party” he noted in his letter.

For his part, Gabriel Bol, the second defector, said he left the SPLM over what he described as a “lack of political direction, commitment to deliver services to the people equally, and a clear vision.”

However, in response, SPLM Deputy Chairman in the state, William Anyuon Kuol, welcomed the decision taken by the two SPLM former cadres to shift their allegiance to the opposition party.

He argued that joining a political party is a personal choice.

“When Bona Baak and Gabriel Bol Dut joined the SPLM, nobody asked them to join, and if they decide to join IO today, it is their choice, and instead they were a burden to the SPLM party,” Anyuon said.

Additionally, the acting Assistant Secretary of Information, Culture, and Communication of NBG’s SPLM chapter, Cde James Johk Lual, seconds the defection.

But he urged the two former members to return property of SPLM party in their possession.

“The SPLM state secretariat asks these former members to surrender all SPLM property or documents that are under their custody to any nearby SPLM office or police station immediately,” he urged.

“…and failure to do so will attract legal measures,” Cde James Johk further warned.


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