Exiled Riek Machar appoints new governors

Riek Machar

South Sudan’s former first vice president and rebel leader Riek Machar issued decrees appointing four senior opposition officials in his SPLM-IO faction to serve as state governors.

In separate decrees on Friday, Machar appointed Adhar Ajak Chol as governor of Lol State, Mubarak Deng Tong as governor of Northern Bahr al Ghazal, Samson Michael as governor of Gbudue state and Chagour Ater Bol as governor of Warrap state.

Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, a leading member of the opposition faction led by Riek Machar, said the move was part of the movement’s re-organization after some opposition governors defected to Taban Deng’s SPLM-IO faction in Juba.

“The move is an administrative arrangement within the SPLM-IO faction because we to want to mobilize people in those areas. Citizens are joining IO in those areas, so we want the new leadership to organize itself in those areas,” said Manawa.

South Sudan, which won independence in 2011, plunged into civil conflict in December 2013 after a long-running political feud between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar.