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Nuer leader in Ethiopia joins government after meeting Kiir

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

February 3, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA) – Chairman of the South Sudanese Nuer community in Ethiopia has defected to join President Salva Kiir’s government in Juba.

President Salva Kiir addresses the nation from the State House on September 15, 2015, in Juba (Photo AFP/Charles Atiki Lomodong)
President Salva Kiir addresses the nation from the State House on September 15, 2015, in Juba (Photo AFP/Charles Atiki Lomodong)

The defection of the community chairman, John Jekow, comes after a private meeting with President Salva Kiir in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Kiir was in the Ethiopian capital earlier this week to participate in the 28th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), which was wrapped up on Tuesday.

Puoch Jal, acting chairperson of the Nuer community on Friday told Sudan Tribune that Jekow flew to Juba on Wednesday along with President Kiir abandoning his post.

The opposition allied Nuer community and Unity state students union in Ethiopia have condemned the defector for meeting Kiir and joining Juba government .

“We can not accept the blood of our people to be betrayed for personal interest,” said Peter Thudan, chairman of Unity state students union.

“The government in Juba should instead address the root causes of the conflict and listen to the voices of reason that call for the revival of the peace agreement through a political process instead of resorting to bribing community members which will not help end the conflict” he added.

The Union reaffirmed that the they will firmly continue to stand behind the SPLM In Opposition faction led by former vice President, Riek Machar, until the “objectives of the struggle are met”.

“We will not accept those who want to feed on the blood of the innocent people who have suffered and perish in the hands of the regime in Juba” the union said.


Meanwhile the Nuer youth Union in Ethiopia on Friday said that it has conducted a successful election and declared Wany Lam as the new chairman the exiled union.

The electoral board of the Union told Sudan Tribune that the election conducted here in Addis Ababa was held in accordance to the election procedures and was fair and free.

“This is the kind of democracy we need. We should not entertain violence as a tool of our social activities,” said Lam.

He pledged to serve equally and further vow to unite all Nuer youths of common interest.

“It was in my manifesto that I will unite all youths and I will never allow any politicians to divide us and the organization as political tools” said Lam.

The newly elect is due to shortly make visit to South Sudanese refugee camps in Ethiopia’s Gambella region where he will establish a youth coordinator office and further elect a representative who will communicate to make sure the refugees voices are heard.

Lam called on Nuer Youth groups in Diaspora to support the Union in Ethiopia so that it could manage to assist the refugees in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia currently hosts around 300,000 South Sudanese refugees, mainly Nuer who fled home to escape civil war which erupted in December 2013.


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