Category: South Sudan News Written by News Desk
Juba, 6th 12/2016 - The office of South Sudanese First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai, cancelled his planed visit to Bentiu amidst security concerns. Sources say the decision was arrived at after Security apparatus advised First President office against going to Bentiu. An impeccable source told the Nation Mirror “There is a genuine reason to be concerned about First Vice President safety in his hometown, because forces hostile to him are presence around Bentiu areas. The government forces can’t guarantee his safety”, he said. Gai was scheduled for a visit on Monday 5th December 2016 for the first time since peace agreement was reached. Since the Peace Agreement was reached he has never set foot to the area. Gai hails from Guit Section of Nuer of Bentiu area.
Taban Deng Gai, First Vice President of the Republic
Bentiu has been under the government forces when the Peace Pact signed and operationalized. FVP scheduled visit to Bentiu was thwarted amidst security reports that IO forces are preparing to attack the Government garrison in Bentiu. Riek’s IO and the government forces are at daggers draw as each of the parties wants entrench its presence or dominance. UN reports indicate that the belligerent parties are preparing for resumption of hostilities in and around Bentiu, Upper Nile, including Bhar el Ghazal, and Equatoria areas.
Taban Deng replaced Riek following the eruption of violence at Presidential Palace in July, which saw IO Base in Jabel overran. Riek fled Juba and Taban replaced him raising controversy and division within IO Camp. Taban had earlier felt out in yet another low tone with his former boss Dr. Riek Machar leading to his resignation in April 2016 from position of IO Chief Negotiator.
After replacing Riek on 23rd July with Taban, Kiir sacked ministers loyal to Riek replacing them with Taban Loyalists. Since then the IO forces under Riek Machar and those loyal to Taban Deng do not see eye to eye.
Last Month forces loyal to Machar overran government garrison comprised of IO under Taban and government forces in Bentiu. But the attacking forces withdrew after ransacking the garrison. After fighting at J1, Presidential Palace, violence spread across the country with Former Western Bhar El Ghazal, Central and Western Equatoria witnessing heavy military concentration leading to human rights violations. The US has raised concerns of recent surge of violence in Greater Equatoria areas.