Leader of rebel splinter group calls on rebel forces to abandon South Sudan’s Machar

Nairobi/Addis Ababa, October 21, 2015 (SSNA) — Former Chairman of National Committee for Finance and Resource Mobilization for the Sudan people’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) and leader of rebel splinter faction Gabriel Changson Lew Chang has called on rebel forces to abandon Dr. Riek Machar, claiming Machar is not serving the interests of the people.

The South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) has obtained a leaked audio recording of minutes of a meeting held on the 18th of October 2015 between the leader of the splinter group Changson and his supporters most of whom live in the United States, according to the SSNA’s investigations.

The SSNA agrees not to publish sensitive recordings of the meeting until the SSNA’s translation team completes conversion of the entire audio.

In the transcripts, Changson can be heard complaining that the armed opposition leader is a dictator and that Machar appoints people and interferes with their works. Changson also urges his supporters to help establish military bases in any area in Upper Nile, Unity, and Jonglei States.

The leader of the splinter group further calls on the army wing of the SPLM-IO to desert Dr. Machar’s rebellion and support his movement.

In April 20105, Changson led a rebel delegation to the United States and visited several States mobilizing for resources to support the humanitarian wing of the rebel forces.

However, multiple sources have told the South Sudan News Agency that Changson was successful in convincing the supporters of the armed opposition in Diaspora, particularly in the US. Sources said South Sudanese in Diaspora gave him a huge amount of money to be used only for humanitarian purposes. Source also alleged that Changson did not disclose or release the funds to the rebel leadership after his return from the United States.

The sources added that Changson refused to meet and brief the SPLM/A-IO’s leadership after his arrival and instead held various secret meetings with Generals Peter Gatdet Yak and Gathoth Gatkuoth.

The two Generals were later dismissed and fled to Khartoum.

The sources further alleged that Changson provided the two Generals with bogus documents which he claimed were given to him by an unnamed American arms dealer who in 2014 offered to supply weapons to South Sudanese armed opposition but Machar declined the offer, citing what the sources described as an “unethical proposal.”

In August, Jikany Nuer Community has accused Gabriel Changson Lew Chang and General Gathoth Gatkuoth of having a history of rebellion against Machar, saying previous actions of the two men, specifically in events of 1997 had led to the loss of at least 500 lives of Jikany Nuer youth. Gathoth Gatkuoth and Gabriel Changson hail from Jikany Community.

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