JUBA – A minister representing the SPLMIO lead by FVP Dr Riek Machar has claimed that the recent cabinet meeting (on Friday the 15th) was forced on them by the Presidential Guards and “another SPLMIO Minister sympathetic to President Kiir”
The Minister who refuses to be disclosed in order to speak freely charged that a convoy of 2 heavily armed pick up trucks came to their hotels on Thursday evening last week handing over a letter to them containing the signature of the president. He said that the “heavily armed guards warned that the IO ministers must attend the meeting called by the president on Friday or risk being killed at any time.”
” …This is the letter delivered to us (raising a Thursday dated letter to an Upper Nile Times reporter) by some armed guards. They told us that we must obey the request for a meeting from the president or we will perish anytime. The letter as you can see bears the signature of the president of the republic and an SPLMIO Minister…all i ask for my IO comrade ministers was to attend the meeting and probably raise our concerns there.” – The Minister narrates to Upper Nile Times’ Bith Jonathan.
Last Friday, a cabinet meeting was called by President Kiir to address the recent skirmishes between the two forces of the transitional unity government (TGNU). The cabinet meeting resolved to continue on with the implementation of the remaining clauses in the peace agreement. IO Ministers rejected the proposal by President Kiir to ditch the FVP and replace it with another minister from the IO, saying it will make the whole peace agreement obsolete.
First Vice President Machar is currently refusing to come out and meet President Kiir, saying that Kiir doesn’t have enough power to protect him and his forces currently in the outskirts of Juba. Machar however prefers a third neutral force to be deployed in Juba to separate the two hostile forces. He said that he will not come back to the town until that third force is deployed.
THE UPPER NILE TIMES