South Sudan

S. Sudan Rebel Forces Elect Machar Supreme Leader


health geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>According to the rebels’ spokesperson, information pills Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, the endorsement of Machar followed a SPLM/SPLA Consultative Conference held between April 15 and 18 in Nasir town, Nasir County in Upper Nile State.

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Koang told Chimpreports on Tuesday the meeting brought together various “democratic forces for change” including representatives of the SPLM/SPLA; political parties; civil society organizations; traditional leaders; representatives of victims and survivors and other eminent personalities.

“The Delegates to the Conference endorsed Dr. Riek Machar Teny as Provisional Commander in Chief of SPLA as well as established 8 provisional national structures/committees; one of which included Military and Security Council,” said Koang.

He further revealed the conference applauded the role and sacrifices of SPLA and the Volunteer Forces before urging the leadership of the Movement to expedite the transformation of the volunteer fighters to join SPLA so as to place them under command and control.

The latest development implies Machar is not about to lay down weapons as demanded by African Union and the international community to pave way for the peaceful resolution to the crisis that has led to death of thousands.

United States and UN have since warned rebels they would face war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court if they continued to pursue a military path in resolving their conflicts with Kiir.

US top envoy to United Nations, Samantha Power said all opposition forces “responsible for South Sudan horrors and deliberately targeting civilians must be held accountable.”

Her statement came in the wake of the Bentiu massacre in which Nuer men, women and kids were killed at a South Sudan hospital for not joining others cheering on anti-government forces coming into the town.

UN also reported radio broadcasts by some South Sudan anti-government forces calling for ethnically-targeted violence and sexual violence against some groups.

During the rebels’ conference last week, delegates asked Machar “to provide orientation for the regular and volunteer fighters on the broad objectives of the struggle, such as federal system of governance, democratic transformation of the state, human rights, constitutionalism and rule of law, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

They further demanded the leadership of the movement to “transform the crises into an opportunity to forge unity of the people of South Sudan rather than being a source of division.”

War intensifies

Meanwhile, the war in South Sudan intensified over the weekend with rebels boasting of seizing four armoured tanks and eight 12.7 machine guns from government forces.

Chimpreports could not independently confirm this development.

“The Gallant SPLA/M Forces have been putting government troops and their Allies on the run in multi-fronts in the last 72 hours as well as inflicted heavy damage on equipment and captured some. In the fight for control of Timor on 18 and Tharjiath on 20-4-2014 respectively, our forces under overall command of Military Governor for Unity State,” said Koang.

Her added: “Government troops defeated in Timor are running towards Pareng County while those defeated in Leer and Tharjiath are fleeing towards Warrap State with our forces in hot pursuit.”

The war in the world’s youngest nation broke out in Mid-December last year with Kiir accusing Machar of attempting to overthrow his government.

Machar, who had earlier been sacked as Vice President, denies the allegation, saying Kiir has always looked for an opportunity to crack down on reformists within the ruling party.

Peace talks which were being held in Ethiopia are yet to bear fruit. Uganda, which was supposed to pull out its troops by April 15, says it is waiting for an joint force from African nations to secure the area.

The Uganda army says it is protecting some refugee camps in Bor and has stepped up patrols in anticipation of an attack by Machar’s rebels.


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