JUBA – South Sudan’s holdout main armed opposition leader and former chief of staff of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) General Simon Gatwech Dual has ordered all opposition politicians allied to him to report to Magenis, then to the Sudanese capital Khartoum, as preparations are underway for beginning of peace talks with President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s government.
Last weekend, General Simon Gatwech and his deputy Gen. Johnson Olony Thabo met a high-level delegation from President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s government led by South Sudan Presidential Advisor on Security Affairs Tutkew Gatluak Manimeh in which the two sides discussed ways on how to start talks on the stalled implementation of the security arrangements.
In the meeting, a senior Sudanese commander who is representing the Sudanese government during the meeting between the South Sudan parties, asked President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s government and General Simon Gatwech Dual’s group to name delegates for the talk which the Sudanese commander said will commence in two weeks, or as soon as the parties present the names of their teams.
In a statement, Brig. Gen. William Gatjiath Deng, the SPLA-IO spokesman allied to Gatwech, said the group welcomes the decision by President Salva Kiir Mayardit to send a delegation with the primary aim to discuss with the holdout group the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement and said the leadership has directed all opposition politicians to report to Magenis or Khartoum ahead of talks.
“The SPLM/A (IO) under the leadership of Gen Simon Gatwech Dual, has welcomed the calls from the president that tends to initiate the process of negotiation between the SPLM (IO) and the government through the mediation of Sudan and the IGAD,” he said in the statement that was extended to Sudans Post on Saturday.
“Therefore, the SPLM (IO) politicians from both region and abroad are asked to get ready as their trips are to be facilitated by Sudan in order to help in the ongoing negotiation. Now the SPLM/A (IO) politicians under the leadership of Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, are asked to prepare and be ready for talk probably in the next fortnight,” he added.