September 7, 2020 (Thessherald)–SPLM/A-IO nominee, General Johnson Olony Thambo has refuted the government’s claims that he’s been working to thwart ongoing peace efforts in the country.
In response to the allegations, the opposition commander criticized the Kiir administration for labeling him as a warmonger without solid evidence.
Upper Nile remains the only state whose governor has not yet been appointed, as the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-IO disagreed over the appointment of Johnson Olony.
“I am not a warmonger. I am not aware of the war the president has been talking about. Among my forces, there are soldiers from all the tribes of South Sudan, so I don’t fight my fellow South Sudanese,” General Johnson Olony said in an exclusive interview with Radio Tamazuj on Saturday.
“If there is a war with another country, I can assure him [Kiir] that I will support them.”
The recent disagreement over the appointment of the opposition member casts doubt on the commitment of the Parties to implement outstanding tasks.
General Olony reiterated that he would not set foot in Juba unless he’s officially appointed as governor, saying that he has no confidence in the government.
“My chairman Dr Riek has recently sent a delegation to talk to me so that I go to Juba. But I told them that I don’t want to go to Juba because I haven’t yet been appointed as governor. Also, Salva talked to me and asked me to come to Juba, but I put a condition that I would only return to Juba once I am appointed,” he added.
Olony said that he’s ready to relinquish the position if another member of the opposition is chosen to replace him in an attempt to break the impasse between the parties.
“If another nominee is appointed by Salva or recommended by Riek, I have no problem. I didn’t take up arms to be a governor. I fought for this country so that we become independent from Sudan,” he said.
“I will not fight because I am not appointed as governor of Upper Nile. I can continue serving in my current capacity because what we want is peace.”
General Olony urged the people of South Sudan to refrain from division and hatred.
“Conflicts among our communities were caused by politics. So, people should forgive each other because we are one people. My message to the people of Upper Nile is that peace has come, so we have to come together,” he concluded.