JUBA – South Sudan opposition SPLA-IO Kitgwang faction led by Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual has rejected involvement of First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny in the ongoing efforts to resolve the deadly Kitgwang factional infighting.
Forces belonging to General Simon Gatwech and his former deputy General Johnson Olony Thabu who leads the Agwelek have been fighting in Upper Nile State, with the two factions accusing each other of starting the deadly conflict that has killed hundreds and displaced thousands of civilians.
Yesterday, minister of Livestock and Fisheries Onyoti Adingo said he and the Upper Nile Governor Gen. Abudhok Anyang met President Salva Kiir Mayardit in Juba and were informed by the head of state that he was in talk with Machar to resolve the ongoing disagreements within the Kitgwang faction.
In reaction, the deputy military spokesman of the SPLA-IO Kitgwang Col. Jidiet Yak Dak warned against involvement of Machar, saying involvement of peace he said are “powerless” such as Machar will further complicate the peace process.
“President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Upper Nile Governor Hon. Abudhok should not waste their time, approaching powerless people like Dr. Riek Machar to mediate the disagreements between SPLM/A-IO- Kitgwang under the leadership of 1st Lt. Gen Simon Gatwech Dual and Agwelek army head by Johnson Olony Thabo,” Jidiet told Sudans Post.
“Where here on earth a patient can take care of another patient? Dr Riek Machar can only be reached and asked to stop empowering the white army, who are killing and displacing innocent people in some part of Upper Nile areas, that’s the little issue he can afford to solve. His involvement into this matter, can jeopardize the situation, more than now between the two oppositions groups,” he added.
‘WE ARE FOR PEACE’
Col. Jidiet further reiterated the SPLM-IO Kitgwang faction’s commitment to the implementation of the Khartoum peace agreement, saying the group’s leadership is not looking for jobs in Juba, but full implementation of the security arrangements they signed with Kiir in January this year.
“Concerning the agreement we signed last year in Khartoum with the government of South Sudan, we in the SPLM/A (IO) Kitgwang made its clear since the disownment of Dr Riek Machar in Magenis that we are for peace not for a war but for the peace agreement,” he said.
“What we requested then was not jobs, but full implementation of revitalized peace agreement, especially Security arrangements and relocation of IDPS,” he added.