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“Kiir keeps rejecting our nominees” SPLM-IO criticizes peace partner

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JUBA, March 20th, 2022 – South Sudan’s main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny has accused the ruling SPLM faction led by President Salva Kiir Mayardit of continuing refusing its nominees to various government positions.

In June 2020, Kiir refused to appoint General Johnson Olony Thabo who was nominated by Machar for Upper Nile state governor. He said at the time that the controversial opposition commander is a ‘warmonger’ who he said would jeopardize reconciliation efforts between Upper Nile state communities and asked Machar for a replacement.

The South Sudanese president also refused to appoint the SPLM-IO official, Nyenagwek Kuol who was nominated by Machar as the deputy minister of interior. Kiir did not give reasons for the rejection, but reportedly asked Machar to nominate another person instead.

In a communiqué following a meeting in Juba from March 11th-14th, the SPLM-IO Political Bureau said the government of President Salva Kiir has continued its “Rejection and refusal to appoint nominees of SPLM/SPLA (IO) to positions allocated to SPLM/SPLA (IO) in RTGONU and State levels.”

The communiqué pointed to the rejection of the governor of Upper Nile state, the deputy minister of interior, the minister of health, commissioner of Kajo-Keji County in the country’s Central Equatoria state where the country’s capital is located, something the SPLM-IO said is unacceptable violation of chapter 1.13 of the revitalized peace agreement.

Machar also said there is an ongoing suspension of SPLM-IO constitutional post holders by the governors in Central Equatoria, Unity, Lakes and Jonglei States “without prior information to their respective parties.”

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