South Sudan’s minister of labour and public services has resigned, citing the “impartial” composition of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).
Gabriel Duop Lam declared his allegiance to the armed opposition leader and ex-First Vice President Riek Machar. Machar fled Juba in July 2016 and lives in South Africa.
“With sound mind and excellent rule of reasoning, (I) do hereby officially resigned from the position as being the Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Development in what so call partial Government of National Unity with effect from 17 February 2017 and from there I reaffirm my full allegiance to the SPLM/SPLA-IO under the wise leadership of H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon (sic),” partly reads Duop’s letter.
Duop was appointed labour minister in August 2016 by First Vice President Taban Deng having been appointed by Machar, serving as Minister of Interior from April-July 2016.
The former Jonglei state minister for law enforcement and rebel governor of territories controlled by the SPLM IO in Jonglei survived the fighting in State House J1 in July 2016 and praised the leadership of President Salva Kiir for protecting his life.
When Machar fled the capital, Juba, following three days of intensive streets battle, Duop remained in Juba and shifted allegiance to Machar’s controversial replacement, Taba Deng Gai.
However, in his resignation letter, the former labour and public service minister claimed the government of President Kiir attempted to kill Machar last year.
Duop reportedly left Juba early this week on an official trip, but lost touch with the ministry.
This is the second resignation of a top politician from president Kiir’s government after the deputy chief of general staff for logistics, Thomas Cirillo quit last week.