Newsflash: Kiir finally approves to appoint General Johnson Olony

Nov 16, 2020 (Thessherald)–The South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir Mayardit has agreed to appoint the SPLM-in-opposition nominee, General Johnson Olony Thambo, as governor of Upper Nile state, a senior opposition official told Eye Radio.

The appointment of General Olony – a top military commander of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), has long overdue, pouring cold water on the two Parties’ efforts to work together in the unity government.

According to the Peace Agreement, three states, including Upper Nile state, were allocated to the main opposition group, SPLM-IO. However, President Kiir has been skeptical about appointing the opposition nominee, citing that Olony is not committed to being part of the agreement and might drag the country into another war.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) – a regional bloc brokering South Sudanese peace talks – has been blamed for taking a back seat as the parties struggle to break the impasse over pending issues.

Analysts have warned that if the parties do not speed up implementation of the peace agreement, there will be frustration and that the forces being trained may abandon their training centers.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit and main opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar signed a peace agreement in 2018, ending years of violence that has killed hundreds of people and displaced millions from their homes.

Clouds of uncertainty emerge as Kiir, Machar differ on Olony’s appointment.

SPLM-IO nominee, General Johnson Olony Thambo picture during a military briefing

July 3, 2020 (Thessherald)–South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his deputy, Dr. Riek Machar have hit a deadlock over the recent nomination of Gen. Johnson Olony as Governor of Upper Nile State, one of the three states recently allocated to the SPLM-IO.

Earlier this week, President Salva Kiir Mayardit issued a Republican order on SSBC TV, appointing eight governors for the country’s 8 states including three Administrative Areas, leaving Upper State and Jonglei State – a move seen as a flagrant violation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolutions of the Conflict in South Sudan.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, the press secretary in the President’s office revealed that Kiir was unable to appoint General Johnson Olony because he did not adhere to the provisions of the peace agreement which stipulated that all forces on both sides should be assembled and trained before the unification process.

“We want peace to prevail in the country, so we cannot appoint someone who wants to spoil the peace. Olony is still in the bush and his forces have not yet gone to the cantonment sites,” said Ateny Wek. “Johnson Olony has set some conditions. He wants to come back to Juba with 2,000 forces, which is a violation of the peace agreement.”

According to the recent agreement between the two lenders, The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO), was given three states, including Upper Nile state, where the appointment of a governor is still pending.