Officers from the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Opposition in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state have defected and formed their own faction.
The officers previously under the overall leadership of the First Vice-President, Riek Machar, have asserted that the 2015 peace agreement signed with president Salva Kiir, has not addressed the cause of the war.
The group is yet to announce the name of their faction and under whose leadership and the objective of the war they have declared to pursue.
An armed man identifying himself as Colonel James Deng Mayar told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that they have announced a peaceful split from the armed opposition forces under the overall command of General Dau Aturjong, who allied himself and his forces to the First Vice President, Riek Machar.
The group, according to Mayar, has decided to join rank with brigadier General Agany Ayiii, one of the government officers who changed allegiance and joined General Peter Gatdet Yak, one of the senior rebel commanders, who defected from the rebel faction under Machar.
Gadet and several officers, some of whom have already returned to the country under separate arrangements, have rejected the peace agreement signed by the government and armed opposition in August last year.
“I confirm that we have split from SPLA-IO and joined General Agany Ayii,” Mayar told Sudan Tribune during an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
“We decided to continue with the struggle because we have to realize [Machar] was not committed enough to lead the struggle to achieve the objective of the war. We wanted to change that system and to establish a new system based on democratic principles,” he explained.
He accused Machar of having allegedly failed to fulfil commitment he made to change the government under President Kiir and accepted the position in unity government under the terms of the peace deal which did not address the issues which caused the war.
Thousands of lives have been lost and properties destroyed, mainly in Upper Nile region at the height of conflict.