Fighting for the soul of South Sudan’s SPLM-IO

Just when South Sudan seemed to have turned a corner after a series of false dawns for a unity government,…

Just when South Sudan seemed to have turned a corner after a series of false dawns for a unity government, another crisis has reared its ugly head.This time its not Riek Machar and his old implacable foe President Salva Kiir.

The two men are still heading the transitional national unity government which may still be holding firm despite some challenges.

The latest political rift is between Machar and a renegade senior general in the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition or SPLM-IO.

The two are fighting for the soul of the opposition movement which bears all the hallmarks of a split at the middle.

Lieutenant General Simon Gatwech Dual says he is the new leader of the SPLM-IO, accusing Machar of betraying his promise to the movement when he signed a new unity government deal with Kiir almost two years ago.

 Dual had emerged from a recent meeting of the main opposition in very combative mode, demanding that Machar be swept aside a vice president of the transition government.

Relations between Machar and Dual got a turn for the worse since the former sacked the latter a head of the movement’s military wing. 

Machar’s backers have dismissed Dual’s bid to oust him as laughable.

The rift between the two men has sparked fears that the transitional government could be affected in a negative way and possibly undermine implementing the 2018 peace agreement. 

Analysts say this could be particularly challenging given that time is running out with the implementation of the agreement. 

Last month, South Sudan marked ten years since it attained independence from Sudan in July 2011. 

The optimism which had greeted this landmark achievement dissipated into thin air as the world’s newest nation descended into the anarchy of a civil war that has killed close to 300, 000 people and displaced some 4 million more.

Follow the live information on our channel