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JUBA - 8 Jul 2020

SSOA is now non-existent, says Akol

South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) no longer exists in practice as a political entity and the term in office of its current leader has expired, an opposition politician said.

Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, the Secretary-General of SSOA and leader of the National Democratic Movement (NDM), told Radio Tamazuj the alliance has for long not held meetings and that Josephine Lagu is no longer recognized as the chairperson of the opposition alliance since her term in office has expired.

Akol says Lagu’s claim that Higher Education Minister, Denay Jock Chagor was nominated to the position of a governor for Jonglei State was illogic because SSOA had not agreed on one candidate. "How can the same group that initially rejected Jonglei State choose a representative for the position of a governor?” he asked.

 On June 29, President Salva Kiir appointed governors for eight states, two weeks after his agreement with his first deputy Riek Machar on the process for nominating governors in the country’s 10 states.

The president, however, did not name governors for two states – Jonglei and Upper Nile.

South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) – a third party to the September 2018 peace agreement – disagreed on the process for nominating a governor for Jonglei State.

Akol dismissed Lagu’s statement that SSOA’s policy does not allow secretaries-general and members of political organizations within the alliance to assume senior executive positions.

“There is no agreement within the alliance that prevents secretaries-general and members from assuming executive positions. This has been proven by a representative of SSOA in the presidency,” said Akol.

He added, "The representative of SSOA holding the position of vice president is not the one leading their movement, but he has assumed the position of vice president.”

Akol accused the government of controlling some groups within SSOA. "There is a group within the alliance that has handed over itself to the government and the government led by President Salva Kiir has been guiding it with its decisions,” he said.

The opposition politician also accused Kiir’s side of violating a provision of the peace agreement by not appointing women among the six state governors from his camp.

Akol lauded Riek Machar’s party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) for appointing a female governor for Western Bahr al-Ghazal state.

The members of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) signed the September 2018 peace deal as one entity.