By Parach Mach
JUBA, South Sudan
A South Sudanese minister resigned on Friday, declaring his allegiance to the opposition led by exiled former vice president Riek Machar.
South Sudan descended into chaos in December 2013, two years after gaining independence.
A power struggle within the country’s ruling SPLM party between President Salva Kiir and Machar led to the ruinous civil war
Gen. Duop Lam -- the country’s labor minister -- was one of 10 members of the armed opposition to be appointed to a senior position in a transitional government of national unity under the terms of an August 2015 peace deal.
In a statement seen by Anadolu Agency, Lam described the current administration as a “partial government of national unity” and said he gave his “full allegiance and commitment” to the SPLM/IO movement led by Machar.
He has also spoken out against Kiir, who he accused of a plot to assassinate Machar during last July’s fighting which forced the opposition leader into exile.
Under the terms of the August 2015 peace deal, 30 ministerial posts were split between Kiir and Machar, as well as other opposition parties. It was under this deal that Machar attained the position of first vice president.
But, after fighting broke out, Machar fled the capital and Kiir appointed a replacement from Machar’s SPLM/IO party, laying bare fractures within both the administration and opposition.