South Sudan

South Sudan Rebel Commander: We’ll Fight Until Kiir is Toppled  

A senior military commander under rebel leader Dr Riek Machar has reiterated SPLM/IO’s commitment to a rebellion despite warnings from United States.

The rebel movement last week decided to “call for the reorganization of the SPLA/IO so that it can wage a popular armed resistance against the authoritarian and fascist regime of president Sava Kiir in order to bring peace, more about freedom, democracy and the rule of law in the country.”

The U.S. State Department Spokesperson John Kirby strongly condemned the resolution, saying the past two and a half years have proven that “fighting is not going to resolve the underlying political disputes that led to conflict in the first place.”

He added: “We find it inexcusable that he would continue to promote armed resistance. It indicates a lack of concern for the well-being of the South Sudanese people, millions of whom continue to struggle just to survive and just as much want to see peace.”

However, speaking to ChimpReports on Friday, Brigadier General John Sunday Martin who commands the rebel movement’s 3rd ‘Brigade’ in Western Equatoria, said the condemnation of their outfit’s decision to return to war has “fallen on deaf ears” and eventually “taken away by the wind.”

Sunday said an armed resistance against the SPLM-In Government is the “popular decision of the suffering people of South Sudan.”

He said they chose the path of war due to lack of political will by the SPLM-IG to resolve the nation’s crisis in peaceful means.

Sunday further said peaceful political dialogues aimed at restoring the culture of democracy, good governance and rule of the law has failed due to lack of political will by government.


He pointed out that by signing the peace agreement and returning to Juba early this year before the July fighting at the presidential palace bore hallmarks of their commitment to a peaceful and stable country.

“Despite showing all these gestures of peace, the government launched a war on us on pseudo claims of coup attempts,” said Johnson.

Thousands of people continue to grapple with hunger and lack of access to social amenities as a result of the conflict in South Sudan.


The fighting between government troops and Machar’s forces has pushed over one million people to neighbouring countries for refuge.

Machar, who fled Juba in the wake of heavy fighting at the presidential palace, is currently in Khartoum, Sudan after his position of First Vice President was taken by Gen Taban Deng.

Johnson said war is inevitable in a situation where one party is determined to frustrate peaceful efforts aimed at resolving the country’s challenges.

Warning Machar and his allies, Kirby said Washington is keen on seeing South Sudan realise peace and stability.

“So as we’ve always said, the United States expects that the transitional government and all parties, including all leaders of the opposition in South Sudan, will avoid violence at all costs and implement the peace agreement,” said Kirby.

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