Addis Ababa, July 8, 2017 (SSNA) — A South Sudanese news editor has harshly criticized First Vice President (FVP) Taban Deng Gai, saying Gai is pursuing a policy of giving food to people in exchange for denouncing rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar.
The South Sudan News Agency’s editor-in-chief, Duop Chak Wuol, unleashed a stream of harsh criticism against the Juba-based Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) aimed at the FVP Gai.
The editor of the United States-based SSNA says the SPLM/A-IO Juba faction led by the First Vice President has no real political doctrine, accusing it of pursuing a “baptism by food” policy.
“The political doctrine of the Juba-based SPLM/A-IO is baptism by food,” Duop wrote on his social media profile.
He argued that most supporters of the FVP are former South Sudanese government employees who were stripped of their jobs after the civil war broke out in December 2013. He also accuses Gai of exploiting poverty-stricken people in refugee camps and neighboring countries.
“All one needs to do is to go to Nairobi, Kampala, Khartoum, Addis Ababa, refugee camps or POCs and find poverty-stricken men, feed them, give them pocket money, and then tell them to declare their defection to Taban Deng Gai even though the people are ordinary citizens without any known political affiliation,” he asserted, adding, “This recruitment strategy is so fascination.”
This is not the first time the editor of the South Sudan News Agency criticized Gai’s SPLM/A-IO faction.
In May, Duop wrote a widely circulated article critical of how South Sudan civil war has become a “lucrative business for some greedy foreign governments.” In the article, he described FVP Gai as “a toothless leader” who serves as “an extension of Kiir’s tyrannical rule.”
When contacted to elaborate further on his post, Duop responded by questioning the political ability of the Vice President.
“Is it rational to follow a political leader who uses bribery as the only mean to gain support?” he asked.
Gai took over as the FVP in July last year after government forces tried to assassinate Riek Machar at J1.