JUBA – South Sudan’s main armed opposition commander and chairman of the SPLM-IO Kitgwang faction Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual has released the group’s official position paper on the revitalized peace agreement as requested by the Sudanese authorities, dismissing an earlier version as “fake and forged”.
Below is the full text position paper!
The SPLM/A-IO Military Command’s Leadership, under the former Chief of General Staff, First Lieutenant General (1st Lt. Gen) Simon Gatwech Dual, officially convened a three (3) day meeting at Magenis, after a wide consultation with the Movement’s leadership and grassroots supporters. During this meeting, the military command’s leadership discussed serious matters. Chief among them was the reason as to why the former Chairman and Commander in Chief (C.IN.C), Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, went to Juba with only a few politicians and neglected the movement without consulting the entire military leadership, three days after which he was appointed and took oath as the first Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan. The team that went to Juba has failed to implement the Agreement and has neither carried on proper communication nor have they been clarifying to the leadership why they took such an impulsive decision.
The military leadership wrote three (3) consecutive letters requesting the former Chairman to have consultations with them at the SPLM/A-(IO) GHQ’s in 2020. However, the former Chairman downplayed these requests, claiming the SPLM/A-(IO) has already transformed into a political struggle where anyone who wanted to be political had to choose whether to join politics or wait at the cantonment or training centers, without a concrete program in sight. As a result of the political leadership of the Movement absconding their responsibilities, the meeting resolved to depose Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon – including his political leadership – 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 of the Kit Gwang Declaration. We therefore;
- Condemnthe abandonment of the broader reform agenda put forward by the SPLM/SPLA-(IO) since 2014 and its betrayal by the naive political leadership under Dr. Riek Machar and his We further condemn his policy of micro-management which led him to appoint his family members to the most strategic and decision making positions, side-lining other stakeholders within the movement and further tarnishing the image of SPLM/SPLA-(IO) as a whole,
- Condemnthe attempts by the FVP to resolve the split in the SPLM/SPLA (IO) using violence and attempts by his allied militias to assassinate his former Chief of General Staff, First Lieutenant General, Simon Gatwech Dual. This has further contributed to the military deposing him from the chairmanship of the Movement,
- Condemnthe illegal dismissal of the former Chief of General Staff, First Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, and his appointment as the Presidential advisor. This was specially unjust as it came after the former Chief suspended the Director of Military Intelligence (MI), Maj. Gen. Dhiling Keak Chuol, who has become a major factor in the imminent collapse of the Movement, indicating the mediocrity of the Juba Group which favour developing unskilled family members of their boss, rather than to use the structures of the leadership,
- Condemnthe decision-making process of the SPLM/A-(IO) Juba Group, where Dr. Riek Machar Teny alone makes the decisions without the approval of the SPLM/A-(IO) Political Bureau (PB) and the National liberation council (NLC), violating the four basic documents of the SPLM/A- (IO),
- Condemn the silencing of the SPLM/A (IO) organs, which have not performed their duties since the signing of the R-ARCSS. It is a clear indication that the former chairman, Dr. Riek Machar, is working for the unification of the historic SPLM (a different party)
ON SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS AND CURRENT POLITICAL SITUATION
The traumatic effects of 15th December 2013, and the “dog fight” at J1 (State House) on the 8th July 2016, are still fresh in the collective psyche of our displaced civil population. This is why we must prioritize and expedite the implementation of Chapter II: Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements – commonly referred to as Security Arrangements – and other key provisions of the Arrangement that have been neglected by the Juba Group. We must end the perennial violence that has plagued our politics through the sincere implementation of the negotiated settlement – the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS). It is only after this that the parties to the Agreement can be able to address all matters pertaining to peace as stipulated in that book. We in the Kit-Gwang Declaration therefore;
- Are concernedfor the imminent collapse and disintegration of the state if serious measures are not taken, particularly, the Security Arrangements, which have not been implemented according to the terms stipulated in the Agreement. The graduation of the unified forces has become a joke and has been completely The majority of the forces in the cantonment sites have deserted the training camps due to lack of food rations, medical provisions and other logistical support, despite the allocation of USD 100 Million to the Joint Defense Board (JDB) for the implementation of Security Arrangements starting in the pre-interim period,
- Are alarmedby the lack of direction regarding issues of reconciliation, healing, justice and accountability,
- Acknowledgethe fears and concerns of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in UNMISS POCs and refugees who fled the country due to the ethnic massacres which happened in 2013, 2014 and 2016. The Kit Gwang Declaration is advocating for Security Arrangements which will create a conducive atmosphere for a dignified return home and reunion of families,
- Recognizethat the issue of Transitional Justice to arrest those who committed horrendous crimes against humanity can only be done through the establishment of the Hybrid Court. This may not happen under the government of South Sudan unless international state actors take their time and are involved in the process,
- Cautionof secret airstrips, training of partial police and graduation of unified forces contrary to the provisions enshrined in the Agreement,
- Are alarmedof grave security consequences that shall be triggered by the procrastination on the Security Arrangements and lack of trust amongst the
ON THE R-ARCSS
The SPLM/A -(IO), under the leadership of First Lieutenant General, Simon Gatwech Dual, confirms its full support and commitment to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict In South Sudan (R-ARCSS ) as a means to peacefully transform our society and transfer power to the people. It is an opportunity to bring about fundamental change in the country if it were honestly implemented. We therefore;
- Welcomethe recent appeals released by the US Government and its partners on the status of the agreement,
- Appreciatethe peace guarantors for continuing to exert pressure on the signatories towards the implementation of the
- Are concernedof the looming collapse of the Agreement should the Security Arrangements and the chapter on Transitional Justice not be effected in letter and spirit,
- Encouragesthe Technical Boundaries Commission (TBC) and Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC) to make their reports and findings available to the general public of South Sudan ahead of anticipated elections.
THE POSITION OF THE SPLM-IO (KIT GWANG)
The Kit Gwang Declaration is advocating for the honest implementation of Chapter II: Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements. It is the contention of the SPLM-IO (Kit Gwang) that the Security Arrangements are central to political stability in our nascent Republic. The Kit Gwang Declaration, through implementation of Security Arrangements, aspires to restore the dignity of the South Sudanese peoples by addressing the problem of political violence in our land.
We acknowledge the frustration shown by the regional bodies and the international community due to the lack of trust between the parties to the Arrangement, despite great expectations and tremendous goodwill. This lack of trust has been a stumbling block to the successful implementation of Chapter II: Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements. We recognize the efforts being made by the regional body IGAD in helping South Sudan achieve a lasting peace so we may benefit from the abundant resources that are currently being misused in fuelling perennial inter-communal conflicts. The revenues from oil alone could fund the Security Arrangements and be used to correct the mistakes of the last three years. The principle objective of the Kit Gwang Declaration is to categorically bring peace within the context of implementation of Security Arrangements – for the welfare and prosperity of the peoples of South Sudan. It is not about the distribution of government jobs.
We call on the peoples of South Sudan, the IGAD, Troika and all the stakeholders in the Agreement, to recognize the position of the Kit Gwang Declaration – a recommitment to an honest implementation of the Agreement for peace to prevail in South Sudan. We are not after government positions per se; we are searching for genuine peace. We further call on friends of South Sudan to not give up on us at this critical period.
While recognizing the natural right of self-defense, the primary objective of the Kit Gwang Declaration is not to return the country to war. The fundamental objectives of the declaration are political. It is only through the implementation of the Security Arrangements as laid out in Chapter II of the Revitalized Agreement, can we attain political stability in our land. The Kit Gwang Declaration represents a recommitment to finding genuine peace after the failure to implement the Agreement in Juba. Those opposition groups who have been in the struggle within the country to implement the Agreement and all peace loving people should welcome the Kit Gwang Declaration as the least costly way to recommit ourselves to the peace process. The status quo is untenable. We also call on any political forces and other armed groups (Other Armed Groups) in our country who have been left out of the peace process to come on board so that we can find total peace once and for all. Finally, our compatriots in the R-TGONU should not fear the Kit Gwang Declaration because political stability in our country is in all our interest.