Juba, May 11, 2018 (SSNA) — In an exclusive interviewed on Friday, a senior government official who asked not to be named told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) that members of the armed opposition faction led by Taban Deng Gai are unhappy after their leader signed a reunification agreement with South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir.
The official explained that Taban followers are terrified after the First Vice President (FVP) signed the deal with Kiir and ordered his soldiers to be disarmed and integrated into Kiir-controlled SPLA troops. Taban’s supporters believe the reunification agreement is planned by Kiir to destroy their group.
“The atmosphere here in Juba is very bad for Taban people. They feel destroyed, betrayed, and powerless,” the source told the South Sudan News Agency in Juba.
“Taban SPLM-IO followers are complaining, they clearly don’t like the deal their leader struck with Kiir. Some of them now regret supporting Taban. Taban-Kiir reunification deal. They believe it is a fake deal designed to serve Kiir intertest. Everyone is talking about it here in Juba,” the official further explained.
According to the official, Taban seems withdrawn from the public two days after he signed the agreement with Kiir’s SPLM. The source worries that Taban’s group could face defections as South Sudan’s main armed opposition, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), led Riek Machar, refuses to be part of the reunification deal.
The SPLM/A-IO described Kiir-Taban’s deal as “irrelevance.”