By Gladys Fred Kole
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) has disputed reports that they have resolved the deadlock concerning the firing of Angelina Teny, the former defense minister.
In early March this year, Kiir issued a Presidential Decree sacking the former defense minister.
The President also swapped the defense ministry with that of Interior, a move that SPLM-IO protested terming it a continuous violation of the revitalized peace agreement.
SPLM-IO attributes the parabolic decision taking as triggering political stalemate between the two principals to the R-TGONU.
Since then, two meetings between President Kiir and First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, had failed to amicably resolve the matter, and the issue seemed to be dying a natural death.
However, things got heated when the 14th Ordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of States and Government attended by President Salva Kiir on April 14 reignited the issue after claiming the two principals had resolved the stalemate.
The IGAD secretariat issued the regional bloc’s summit communique whereby it praised the two principals for reaching consensus on the deadlock.
“IGAD Praised the President and First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, for their statesmanship and wisdom in cordially resolving the dispute that ascended over changes in the Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs and the Ministry of Interior,” the communiqué partly reads.
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Nicholas Haysom, also quoted the communiqué in the UN Security Council Summit on South Sudan and asked the parties to acknowledge the step publicly and call off the unilateral decisions.
“We are informed by the recent IGAD communiqué that the political impasse over the removal of the Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs has outwardly been resolved, but not acknowledged as such. We urge the parties to avoid taking individual decisions,” Haysom noted.
This prompted a response from the acting press secretary in the office of the First Vice President, Mr. Puok Both Baluang.
Machar’s mouthpiece refuted the IGAD statement, terming it fabricated information from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
“The Office of the First Vice President would like to firmly deny the false information that the two parties had broken the deadlock over the Republican Decree and Republican Order issued by the President on March 3rd, 2023, in which he individually removed the Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs, and exchanged the Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs with the Ministry of Interior,” Puok said.
“In that regards, we would like to stress that no development was achieved at any of the meetings between President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon to resolve the current deadlock” he rebutted.
Mr. Puok urged the SPLM-IO members, supporters, and the Public at large not to succumb to a report he termed as “fake news”
The SPLM-IO earlier wrote to the regional bloc, IGAD, demanding that the presidential decrees be revoked because it violates the revitalized peace agreement.