A renowned South Sudanese businessman and former intelligence officer on Friday formed a new rebel group to challenge President Salva Kiir’s government.
Mr Kerbino Agok Wol was slapped with 10 years in prison for allegedly starting a revolt at the National Security headquarters in Juba on October 7, 2018 before being freed in a presidential pardon in January 2020.
Mr Wol was initially detained by the National Security Service in April 2018 and held without being charged.
The new group, the 7th October Movement, which Mr Wol named after the day they rioted in jail, said it wants to “liberate South Sudan from the corrupt and genocidal leadership that has set her on a path of destruction.”
“Our cause is to mobilise a Citizens’ Revolution that is democratic, participatory, and rooted in the fundamental concepts of human freedom and equality. Our cause is to unleash the energy of the young generation of our country. Our cause is to make real the promises of national liberation and independence,” the group said in a manifesto extended to Radio Tamazuj.
The group further said many members of the 7th October Movement fought as children under the leadership of Dr John Garang de Mabior during the liberation struggle.
Mr Wol told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus that his rebel group is based inside South Sudan.
“I am deep in the sacred land of this country. I am in the home soil of the country standing in solidarity with my fellow citizens,” he said.
He further said there is violence all over South Sudan and his group wants to bring an end to the suffering of the South Sudanese.
“When there is lack of will from the leadership, you cannot have peace. Peace [agreements] remain violated, people are dying day and night,” he said.