Senior SPLM-IO official resigns, cites tribal agenda

A senior member of South Sudan’s main armed opposition group led by former first vice president Riek Machar has resigned, accusing Machar of pursuing a tribal agenda in the movement.

Yien Mathew Chuol defected from the SPLM-IO faction and joined the National Salvation Front (NAS), a new rebel group formed by Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the former deputy chief of general staff for logistics in the SPLA.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj in an interview on Wednesday, Mathew said there are similarities between the SPLM-IO faction led by Riek Machar and Kiir’s government in Juba.

Yien, who is a Nuer, pointed out that top leaders and high ranking officers in the SPLA-IO faction hail from the Nuer tribe, adding that it is the same tribal agenda being implemented by the current government in Juba.

Yien had served as the official spokesman and national secretary for information and culture in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) before the 2013 crisis in South Sudan.

Photo: Yien Mathew, former SPLM-IO member/ The Nile