Jikany Nuer Community condemns defected senior rebel leaders

Juba, August 13, 2015 (SSNA) — The Greater Jikany Community in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) camps in and around South Sudan’s capital, Juba, has strongly condemned the recently defected rebel political and military leaders who were relieved from their posts in July by rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

A statement released on Thursday by Jikany Nuer Community explicitly targeted only the defected military and political leaders who are believed to come from Jikany Community. The document also declared the displeased leaders "self-seekers" who only care for what they want.

“We, the Jikany Nuer community at UN – Protection site[s] in Juba condemned the action taken by General Gatoth Gatkuoth and Changson Lew Chang who declared their defection on Tuesday in Sudanese capital, Khartoum,” Jikany Nuer Community Chairman Bini Kuajien Tut said in the statement.

“We reject in the strongest term the action taken by General Gathoth Gatkuoth, General Chuol Gake, and Changson Lew Chang against the SPLA/SPLM-IO Movement under leadership of Dr. Riek Machar,” the statement added.

The politicians who deserted Machar’s camp are General Gathoth Gatkuoth, Gabriel Changson Lew Chang, and General Chuol Gake all hail from the Greater Jikany Nuer Community.

Gen. Gathoth is a former Deputy Chief of General Staff for Logistics for armed opposition and Gabriel Chang was running the finance department for the rebel movement.

The statement further says Gathoth Gatkuoth and Gabriel Chang are self-seekers and that it is not the first time for the defected politicians to abandon their posts. The document alleges that Gen. Gathoth’s actions along with Gen. Chuol Gake in 1990s led the loss of at least 500 lives of Jikany Nuer Youth.

“We, the Jikany community know that Gathoth Gatkuoth and Changson Lew have defected from Machar’s Movement because they were removed from their positions. It is not a surprise to us because General Gathoth is not the first time for him to defect from Machar’s Movement; he did this in 1997, when he defected from South Sudan Independent Movement (SSIM) to Thuara-Jikany Movement that led to the loss of 500 lives of Jikany – Nuer youth because of General Gatoth self-interest together with General Chuol Gake,” the statement reads in part.

The Jikany Nuer Community states that it will not follow such people who always care for their own interests and urge all community members to distance themselves from what it described as “sons and daughters from Jikany Nuer who want to divide the entire Nuer Community for their own self-interests.”

The community asserts that so many people from its members were killed in Juba in December 2013 by Salva Kiir’s government and warns that it will not follow any person who abandons the rebellion for self-interest.

Members of the Jikany-Nuer community lives in Maiwut, Nasir,Longochuk, and Ulang counties of the oil-rich Upper Nile State.

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