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South Sudan: Influential Colonel Gatluak Quits Unity Gov’t

Colonel Dickson Gatluak Jock Nyuot, the former spokesperson of South Sudan rebel movement (SPLA-In Opposition), has announced plans to form a new political party to challenge President Salva Kiir’s hold onto power.

Gatluak had been brought into the government fold after President Kiir convinced dissident General Taban Deng to abandon rebellion and take over as the country’s First Vice President.

“I do hereby declare and inform the general public that  today, 30th December 2018, I have unanimously abandoned the government of South Sudan and opted to form a new political party to  oppose the current  regime,” said Gatluak in a mail to ChimpReports on Sunday.

Gatluak was yet to unveil the new political party’s name and its structures.

He said he was supportive of General Taban leading process of implementing the Peace Agreement (ARCISS) in spirit and letter only for the Vice President to get “corrupted when we reached Juba.”

Gatluak said there was no peace agreement being implemented.

He further said he was opposed to the reunification of the rebel armed forces with the mainstream national army as all stakeholders were not exhaustively consulted.

It remains unclear if Gatluak’s departure will have any impact on the ruling government as he is not known to have a huge following.

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But the development underscores the frustration among low ranking officers whom Gen Taban convinced to lay down weapons and embrace Kiir’s government.

Gatluak also lambasted what he described as a “lack of proper transitional security arrangements between the SPLA IO combatants and the government,” adding, “there were no proper cantonment areas allocated to the rebel forces.”

He said former rebels cantoned in Bentiu lack basic needs such as food and water yet “government is doing nothing on this matter.”

Other reasons given for his departure include nepotism, corruption, and discrimination in government.

He said his party would work to achieve a Federal system of governance whereby power shall be divided among three regions – Equatoria, Upper Nile and Baher El Gazal.

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