JUBA — South Sudan’s controversial opposition commander General Johnson Olony Thabo is reportedly planning a reconciliatory meeting between defiant SPLA-IO chief of staff General Simon Gatwech Dual and former SPLM-IO governor of Sobat state Duer Tut Duer who declared himself the interim SPLM-IO chairman last week.
This comes after General Gatwech and Duer differed over who should be appointed as the interim SPLM-IO chairman following an apparent fallout with main armed opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny who is in Juba currently as South Sudan’s First Vice President.
Speaking to Sudans Post in an exclusive interview on Thursday morning, an opposition source in Magenis said General Olony has spoke to General Simon Gatwech Dual following his return from Khartoum that opposition unity was critical in the pace of ongoing boycott of opposition groups by the Sudanese government because he believes many different opposition groups with incoherent objectives are seen by Khartoum as threat to relations between Sudan and South Sudan.
“There is a meeting being planned by General Johnson Olony because when he returned from Khartoum, he told General Simon Gatwech Dual that Khartoum was not happy the way we are not organized so, there was a need for opposition unity because they cannot support many groups that have no potential benefit for them,” the source who refused to be named said.
“So, General Olony and others including General Mabor Dhol are working to hold a meeting in which Duer Tut will be available and in which there will be a unified position of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) politicians and military commanders who are not in Juba,” the source added.
Several contacts to General Johnson Olony Thabo were unsuccessful, but sources close to General Gatwech said he was aware of an opposition meeting next week, but said “the agenda hasn’t yet been presented” but then confirm that the meeting was being organized by General Johnson Olony.
The same source said however that there are plans to divide the task between the military command and the politician in the sense that there is political wing and military wing each will be led by necessary expert in each field.