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President Kiir (Right) and his First Vice President Riek Machar (Left).

First batch of unified forces would not have graduated without Angelina Teny: SPLM-IO

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in opposition (SPLM-IO) has treated with contempt the sacking of it’s member Angelina Teny from cabinet, saying the first batch of unified forces would not have been passed out without her commitment and input.

This followed recent remarks by the minister of cabinet affairs Martin Elia Lomuro, suggesting that President Salva Kiir relieved the minister for her incompetence which was delaying implementation of the security arrangements.

Goanar Gordon Yien, Acting Press Secretary in the Office of the First Vice President Riek Machar, the Chairman of SPLM-IO said Angelina Teny is not to blame for continued delay in the cantonment and training of the second batch of unified forces.

“The feet dragging in the implementation of the Transitional Security Arrangements should not be blamed on Hon. Angelina Teny. The fact is had it not been for Hon. Angelina’s commitment and consistent efforts, the first batch of the Necessary Unified Forces would not have been graduated. Indeed, she was instrumental in the process,” Yien said in a statement issued in Juba on Tuesday.

The transitional government has so far graduated about 53,000 unified forces since August last year. The overall number of unified forces supposed to be graduated is 83,000.

President Kiir on March 3rd sacked Angelina Teny the minister of defense and veterans affairs and Mahmoud Solomon Agok, the minister of interior.

Kiir also swapped the two ministries reverting control of the defense ministry to his SPLM-In Government while leaving the SPLM-IO in control of the interior ministry.

The SPLM-IO protested the changes, arguing that they violated the 2018 revitalized peace agreement which calls for collegial responsibility and wider consultation within the six-member presidency.

“It is very clear in Article 1.13 that each party may remove its representatives in the Council of Ministers and nominate replacements by notifying the President with at least 14 days’ notice. It is not the other way round, or without a consultative process,” Yien said.

Yien disclosed that Article 1.13.2, states that in the event that the Ministerial post falls vacant during the Transitional Period, the replacement shall be nominated by the top leadership body of the party that first selected that ministerial portfolio, as appointed at the commencement of the transition.

“What happened was absolutely serious incident of violation of the Peace Agreement and equally a violation in the swapping of the two ministries,” he said.

Lomuro had earlier said that President Kiir took the decision to relieve Angelina Teny in order to replace her with someone loyal to him.

“He wants to take charge so that when he gives orders no one will stop doing what he said,” Lomuro said.

However, Yien said that Angelina Teny was a victim of her hard work for reforms in the army and pushing for implementation of the security arrangements.

He also said that the removal of the Commissioner of Twic in Warrap State and the Speaker of Jonglei State Legislative Assembly by President Kiir are part of the several violations of the peace agreement.

The two officials are SPLM-IO members.

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