JUBA – South Sudan’s controversial main armed opposition commander General Simon Gatwech Dual has issued a statement removing First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny as the chairman of the SPLM/SPLA-IO.
In the statement below, General Simon Gatwech declared himself the interim chairman and commander in chief of the main armed opposition group urging all unites to cut communication with Machar.
Read below the full-text statement!
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army
TO: SPLM/SPLA (IO), all units
SUBJECT: MILITARY COMMAND’S LEADERSHIP MEETING HELD AT MAGENIS, SECTOR ONE (1) HQS.
The SPLM/A-IO Military Command’s Leadership under the Chief of General Staff First Lieutenant General (1st Lt. Gen) Simon Gatwech Dual, has officially convened for three (3) days at Magenis (Kitgwang) Sector One (1) HQs, after all ground force commanders, diehard supporters, political symphasizers, grassroots level, and political forces across the country had been officially consulted. During the meeting, the military command’s leadership discussed serious matters as to why the chairman and commander in chief (C.IN.C) Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, had absconded the movement without consulting the entire military leadership and opted to go to Juba and took with him all political forces. But three (3) days later, he was appointed and took oath, as the first Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan.
During the process, the all team to the agreement were all slept on the agreement, and have neither carried on proper communication, nor had they been clarifying to the leadership why they had taken such impulsive decision. The military leadership wrote three (3) consecutive letters requested the Chairman to have consultations with the leadership at the SPLM/A-(IO) GHQs in 2020, but the Chairman had down played and put the deaf ears to the calls and saying that, the SPLM/A-(IO) has already transformed in to political struggle where anyone who wants politic must choose whether to join the politic or must wait either cantonment or training centers without specified date.
As a result, the meeting saw there was no option rather than to come up with the decision and finally prompted to declare the denouncement of Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, from the chairmanship of the SPLM/A-(IO) and commander in Chief (C.IN.C) of the SPLA-(IO) forces effective from the date of the announcement.
1 – On Security Arrangements and current political situation:
- a) The incidences of 15th December 2013, and the “Dogs’ fight” in (J1) which rose on the 8th July 2016, is still fresh in the minds of the civil populations in the country and it’s correct with clear gesture when we analyze the current situation, without the completion of security arrangements, and adhering to all modalities relating to peace matters which have already compromised by the SPLM/A-(IO) team in Juba, there must be possibility of perennial incidences to recur again in the midst of the implementation of the agreement in the near future unless otherwise, the parties to the agreement shall address all matters pertaining to peace as stipulated in the book.
- b) The leadership forewarns the soon collapse and disintegration of the state if serious measures are not taken, particularly, the security arrangement that has not been implemented according to the terms stipulated in the agreement. The graduation of the unified forces becomes a laughingstock and has completely buried. The majority of the forces in the cantonment sites have deserted the training camps due to lack of foods, medical facilities and logistical supports.
- c) Also warns all insidious games made in pretext of distorting the implementation of the agreement to avoid justice and accountability.
- d) Acknowledges the fears orchestrated by the internal displaced persons (IDPs) in UNMISS POC and refugees who fled the country due to the ethnic cleansing happened in 2013, 2014, and 2016, to return home and reconnect with their families, as there is no sort of justice to arrest those who committed horrendous crimes against humanity. The establishment of hybrid court under the government of South Sudan may not ensure equality and justice unless international state actors take their time and involve on the process.
- e) Cautions of the secret airstrips, training of partial police and graduation of unified forces contrary to the provisions enshrined in the agreement.
- f) Forewarns of grave security consequences that shall be triggered by the procrastination strategy against the security arrangements and absentia of the political will in the country.
2 – On internal Administrative and leadership issues;
- a) The former chairman of SPLM/A-(IO) Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, has completely failed in the governance system, his incompetence is neither provides robust, nor equality, transparent and effective leadership. Therefore, his policy of divide and rule within the SPLM/SPLA-(IO) for the last eight (years, led to many splits in the movement such as July 2015, August 2016, and March 2020, and this is not his first time to rush into such naive decision but it has been his habitual decision to mobilize the innocent people to uprise against the system. After he gets his position, he used to abandoned the cause and the vision and later opted to leaves behind the poor people without appropriate organization. The best example was what had happened in 2002, when he rose against Dr. John Garang De Mabior, in 1991, and fought the war that lasted for eleven (11) years, then later left the movement and joined the SPLM/A faction of Torit, and all forces under his command were left miserably and unorganized then later, were badly embarrassed by the regime and given a name as “NOT CONFIRM” which meant their ranks were not in the system and it’s believed that the same scenario is applying now but it must be control as the SPLM/A (IO) still alive with strong cadres.
- b) The broader reform agenda put forward by the SPLM/SPLA-(IO) since 2014, has been undermined and sold out with cheap price by the naive leadership of Dr. Riek Machar and his cronies, also his policy of micro-management which led him to appoints his family members to the most strategic and decision making positions, and sidelining other stakeholders within the movement and further tarnishing the image of SPLM/SPLA-(IO) as a whole, is vehemently denied by the current new leadership.
- c) Riek Machar’s attempts to assassinate the Chief of General Staff, First Lieutenant General, Simon Gatwech Dual, as he thought has been an architect and obstacle to peace simply because he has seen him standing with the cause and the vision of the SPLM/A-(IO) movement, and this has contributed and immediately prompted the military leadership to come up to dismiss him from the chairmanship of the movement.
- d) The dismissal of the Chief of General Staff, 1st Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, and his recent appointment as the Presidential advisor, is indeed unpredictable and injustice because it comes after the Suspension of the Director of Military intelligence (MI) Maj. Gen. Dhiling Keak Chuol, who has become a steering wheels and becomes a subject of an imminent collapsing of the SPLM/A-(IO) movement and this has shown the mediocrity and the naive leadership of Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, who is developing and favoring his family members in the rank and file rather than to sustains the entire leadership.
- e) There is an error in the decision making of the SPLM/A-(IO), all the decision of SPLM/A-IO are decided by Dr. Riek Machar Teny alone without the approval of SPLM/A-(IO) political Bureau (PB) and the National liberation council (NLC), this is a violation to the four basic documents of the SPLM/A-(IO)
- f) All the SPLM/A (IO) organs are not performing their duties since the signing of the R-ARCSS, it is clear indication that the former chairman Dr. Riek Machar, is working for SPLM unification.
- g) Today you are all informed that, Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, has no power to dismiss the Chief of General Staff 1st Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual from the position without the approval from the Military Command’s leadership of the SPLA-(IO) as it had happened in Pagak in 2014, when the Chief of General Staff was appointed and his appointment had also been endorsed by the military command’s leadership.
3 – On the R-ARCSS
- a) The SPLM/A -(IO) under the leadership of First Lieutenant General, Simon Gatwech Dual upholds its full support and commits to the Revitalized Agreement On The Resolution Of the Conflict In South Sudan (R-ARCSS ) as means to transfer power peacefully into the people and brings about tranquility in the country if it were honestly implemented.
- b) Appreciates the recent appeals released by the US Government and its partners on the status of the agreement;
- c) Appreciates the peace guarantors for continuing to exert pressure on the signatories towards the implementation of the agreement even though their efforts are frustrated as often.
- d) Alerts of the collapse of the Agreement if security arrangements and the chapter on transitional justice are not effected in letter and spirit.
- c) TBC and IBC must make their report and findings available to the general public of South Sudan.
4 – On the way forward
- a) Dissolves the SPLM/A (IO) Political Bureau (PB) and the National Liberation Council (NLC)
- b) Denounces Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, from Chairmanship of the movement over his One-man leadership undermining the party objectives, shelving collective decision making process, and opaque leadership tarnishing SPLM/A-(IO) image in the region and the world which ensued superfluous ruptures within the rank and file of the movement. He no longer represents the interest of the wider population in South Sudan as he has become part of the national government compromising fundamental issues that led into crises. Hence, his views are not helping the movement special coterie and are a power-driven rather than reforming, architect, even the way he did selection of ministers and members of parliament didn’t reflect any reform agenda but a personal ego to achieve his political goal to be reinstated into his former position as Vice President. This is not what the people of South Sudan want or advocating for, rather their main goal is to achieve just peace and stability in South Sudan.
- c) The leadership has tasked the First Lieutenant General, Simon Gatwech Dual, as the interim Chairman and Commander in Chief (C.in.C) of the SPLM/A-(IO)
- d) Directs all SPLM/A-(IO) membership to conduct grassroots conferences leading into extraordinary national convention.
- e) Directs all SPLM/A-(IO) representatives and cadres assigned to all peace mechanisms to report to (Kitgwang) Magenis for further consultation effective from the date of the announcement.
- f) Beseeches with all SPLM/A-(IO) cadres who absconded, decamped or might have formed parties of their own over frustrations, dissatisfactions and/or mismanagement of the movement to return and join the national movement without condition.
- g) Calls for the unity of all ethnic groups, political parties, youth groups, faith based groups, women groups to support the integrity of the nation of South Sudan.
First Lieutenant General, Simon Gatwech Dual
Interim Chairman and Commander-in-Chief (C.in.C) of the SPLM/A-(IO)
Magenis, (Kitgwang) Sector One (1) HQs, South Sudan.
Cc. Dr Riek Machar Teny, former chairman and commander in chief (C.IN.C) of SPLM/A (IO)
Cc. African Union
Cc. United Nations
Cc. All parties to the R.ARCSS
Cc. Interim Chairperson of RJMEC