By William Madouk
A group of 35 members of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) have defected to the ruling SPLM party.
Under Colonel Padhor Marier Khor in Rubkona County, the group announced its defection to the ruling SPLM yesterday at Unity State capital, Bentiu.
Unity state governor, Joseph Nguen Manytuil, who doubles as the head of the SPLM party in the state, welcomed the political defectors.
In his statements to the media, Governor Manytuil described the defection as a “bold decision” and a “significant step” towards peace and stability in Unity State.
“On behalf of the SPLM Unity State Secretariat, I take this opportunity to congratulate and welcome back the 35 members who defected from SPLM-IO to the SPLM party under the leadership of Cde Salva Kiir Mayardit,” he said.
He said that the defection was paramount and significant towards the realisation that the SPLM party is a beacon of peace and hope for the people’s aspirations.
Rubkona County SPLM chairperson, Tater Chan Kuon described the latest defection as a historic moment for the ruling party.
“We are proud of you, our comrades, and together we will make the SPLM great. We are proud to have you in our ranks, and together we will continue adding blocks to our nation,” Kuon said in a statement.
Mr. Kuon further implored other members who want to join the ruling SPLM party not to have second thoughts but to polish their boots and come back.
“Therefore, we are calling upon the rest of our comrades to join the SPLM,” he stressed.
However, the SPLM-IO leadership has yet to comment on the alleged mass defection from Kiir’s main longtime rival and now peace partner, the Riek Machar political camp.