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South Sudan: SPLM Endorses Kiir’s Deputies, Secretary General

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Salva Kiir

The National Liberation Council (NLC), the highest party organ of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has endorsed Salva Kiir’s deputies.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit, also, chairman of the SPLM last Friday sought approval to fill the position of the party’s first deputy chairperson as part of plans to restructure the party, which fractured into different groups after the civil war erupted in December 2013.

The NLC on Monday endorsed Vice President Dr. James Wani Igga as the party’s first deputy chairman while Daniel Awet Akot and Kuol Manyang Juuk are deputy chairpersons.

VP Wani replaces First Vice President Riek Machar Teny, who now leads the opposition faction SPLM-IO.

Speaking to the media at the Freedom Hall in Juba on Monday, Kuol Atem Bol, SPLM’s National Secretary for Political Affairs and Mobilization said the NLC deliberations on Monday also confirmed Peter Lam Both as the party’s Secretary General replacing Pagan Amum, a prominent opposition figure in exile and now leader of the Real SPLM. 

Akol Paul and Tulio Odongi were appointed as deputies of the Secretary-General. 

Machar and Pagan were both members of the SPLM party’s governing organs, the Political Bureau and the National Liberation Council (NLC).

Atem said Monday’s endorsement is a confirmation of the replacement of Machar and Pagan. 

“Sacking of Dr. Machar is confirmed by the appointment of the first deputy chairman which was a position held by Riek Machar. So, now, it is Comrade James Wani Igga as the first deputy chairman plus two others,” Bol said.     

Kuol further revealed that during the meeting today, members endorsed President Salva Kiir as the next presidential flag bearer for the 2024 general elections, but that has to be confirmed by SPLM grassroots conferences.

“This is not the final stage because SPLM will conduct conferences from Boma, Payam, County, and to states. This is where the endorsement will come from,” he noted.

On Wednesday, SPLM acting party secretary for information, culture, and communication, Santo Malek Anei, said last week’s Political Bureau meeting resolved to increase the number of National Liberation Council members from 17 to 35.

According to Atem, the names of other NLC members proposed by the Political Bureau and the council’s resolutions will be announced at the close of the meeting tomorrow. 

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