SPLM-IO suffers heavy blow of defection in Jonglei
At least 11 members from the SPLM-IO party led by the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar have defected to the SSUMA party.
The individuals submitted their letters of application requesting to join the SSUMA party to Jonglei State governor, Denay Jock Chagor, who is the chairperson of the party in the state. The officers were trained as Kuek Military cadets in Upper Nile state.
Led by Joseph Tut Turuok, the officers alleged that their decision was informed by lack of progress in the SPLM-IO party.
“We have spent more than 9 years in the SPLM-IO party and there is no progress and we have peace. South Sudan and thus we decided to join SUMMA to have progress and help in the implementation of the 2018 peace agreement for sustainability,” he said.
He further added that other members who defected from the SPLM-IO party are from different parts of the country including Ethiopia.
Wany Bum Makhor, a member of parliament under SSUMA representing Akobo County SSUMA party said the team of 11 officers is headed by a major along with others.
He said South Sudan is a democratic country adding that they have the right to join any party they wish to join.
Bum said these officers pledged their commitment to work with the party members in the implementation of the peace agreement.
“Their move is welcomed and I believe their coming to our party will not harm the peace agreement because they are well-trained officers. We welcome them and they will be integrated into our force in the cantonment areas.”
The defection follows a November 2022 incident where a dozen of SPLM-IO party members trooped to the leading SPLM party led by President Salva Kiir.