Wednesday December 13, 2017

General Taban Deng Gai Fired from SPLM-IO


JUBA – A reliable source has told the Upper Nile Times that General Taban Deng Gai, who is a Mining Minister and as well the Chief Negotiator for the SPLM-IO, has been fired from the movement.

This move emerged after discovering that General Taban has been having link with Salva Kiir Mayar and that both the leaders were responsible for the assassination attempt of Dr. Riek Machar, First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, which led to a recent fighting in Presidential Palace on July 8, 9, 10, 2016, in Juba.

James Gatdet Dak, the spokesperson for the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar has confirmed that Gen. Taban is no longer with the movement.  The Chairman has fired him because he has been derailing the movement.  Therefore, “he has also withdrawn and recalled him from Minister of Mining” Said James Dak

In addition, the member of the SPLM-IO supporters in the Diaspora have distanced themselves from General Taban if confirmed that he is defecting to President Kiir’s Camp.  They said if Taban’s loyalty has been questioned by the Chairman, our loyalty to Taban as well will be withdrawn.

Gen. Taban has been known to have switching sides as his main move has been to seek position.  In 1991 rebellion, Gen. Taban switched side to Dr. Riek Machar and later during the Machakos agreement of 2002, Gen. Taban defected to join Dr. Garang and abandoned Dr. Riek’s Camp.  When Taban was made the Governor of Unity State, he by then became a staunch supporter of President Salva Kiir.

During the election of 2009, Taban has attempted to assassinate Dr. Machar’s wife, Comrade Angelina Teny for having competed against him.  As Taban felt out with President Salva Kiir in 2013, he was then fired from Governorship by his boss whom he has been supporting, but disowned him in December 2013 violent conflict which tone the country apart.  He then joined side with Dr. Machar fighting against the injustice that led up to the killing of more than 20,000 innocent Nuer civilians in a three days campaign in the capital Juba.

As seniority played out, Gen. Taban was awarded the position of a Chief Negotiator for the SPLM-IO, negotiating the peace process until the formation of Transitional Government of National Unity Government in June 2016.

As the transitional Government of National Unity was formed, Gen. Taban was appointed to be the Minister of Mining in the TGoNU, a move that upset him because the chairman Dr. Machar failed to secure him Petroleum Ministerial Position.

On the eve of violent conflict which claimed hundreds of soldier from the government side and few others from the SPLM-IO, Gen. Taban has remained undecided either to continue pledging his allegiance or to defect to the government.

Speculations have been flying on streets and social media that Taban is working to secure his boss’s position.  That also was televised on the SSBC that a replacement should be made to avoid the position of the First Vice President falling vacant.  Gen. Taban’s name came up as a replacement.

A strong warning from the sympathizers cautioned President Salva Kiir not to replace Dr. Machar as this will mean a total declaration of war.  President Kiir, if working for the best interest of the people of South Sudan, he must only work to implement the peace agreement; otherwise, replacing Dr. Machar will cause all-out war against his regime.  Stay tune!



Philip Gual

An Upper Nile State correspondent for The Upper Nile Times. He currently resides in Malakal, Upper Nile State.

Filed in

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