Sunday, November 23, 2014

South Sudan diplomats defect to SPLM-IO rebels - Sudan Tribune

– The deputy head of mission at South Sudan’s embassy in Ethiopia, David Dang Kong on Friday announced joining the SPLM/A opposition faction under the leadership of former vice-president, Riek Machar.

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The South Sudan Embassy in Ethiopia (Photo Wanderingmark)
Kong’s move comes one month after South Sudan’s foreign affairs ministry ordered the diplomat to return to the capital, Juba, within 72 hours.
He however refused to return after, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, foreign affairs and international cooperation minister, failed to grant him the security guarantee that would ensure the diplomat’s safe return to Addis Ababa.
Unconfirmed reports previously alleged that Kong had links with the rebels and had leaked sensitive and classified diplomatic information to them, an allegation he denied.
In an exclusive interview with Sudan Tribune, Kong who is an ethnic Nuer accused Juba government of creating a climate of fear at South Sudan Embassies to systematically force Nuer diplomats abandon their posts at the missions.
“The securities of Salva Kiir who are from Bhar Ghazal region are targeting Nuer Diplomats and citizens at South Sudan Embassies across the world” Kong told Sudan Tribune.
The aim he alleged is to screen out the Nuer diplomats assigned at embassies around the world.
“This has happened at our embassies in New York, China, Kenya, South Africa, Eritrea and now in Ethiopia,” Kong said.
Citing to the circumstances at the South Sudan embassy in Addis Ababa he further accused the government of giving away key positions at the missions to ethnic Dinka or to citizens of Greater Bhar Ghazal region where president Salva Kiir is from.
“At the Embassy in Addis Ababa for instant, the head of mission, the newly appointed second deputy head, head of security, head of military attaché and head of visa department are all ethnic Dinka,” Kong added.
In a similar move, former South Sudan ambassador to Geneva, Ambassador Lumumba Stanislaus and Henry Dicah Odwar, a former MP have defected to SPLM/SPLA in opposition.
According to a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Friday, the two officials declared their defection after they held a meeting with rebel leader Riek Machar on Thursday.
“Today I had a nice meeting with Hon. Henery Dicah Odwar the former Member of Parliament and Ambassador Lumumba Stanislaus the former South Sudan ambassador to Geneva after their declaration of joining SPLM-IO” said Machar.
The defectors called for “an end to the misrule of President Salva Kiir” to end the suffering of the people of South Sudan.
They said they will do everything to their powers to make sure Kiir returns the power to the people of South Sudan and thereby to restore peace and justice prevails in the young nation.
Tens of thousands have died and over 1.5 million displaced since conflict between the two SPLM rival factions broke out in mid–December 2013.

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