JUBA – South Sudan lawmaker and former deputy minister of interior General Salva Mathok Gengdit is calling on President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his first deputy Dr. Riek Machar Teny to suspend the implementation of the security arrangements and set sights on the SPLM-IO power struggle which has pushed General Simon Gatwech Dual to withdraw from the main armed opposition group.
General Simon Gatwech Dual, who has been the SPLA-IO chief of military staff since 2014, announced the ouster of Machar as SPLM-IO chairman in August this year following a three-day gathering of top opposition commanders at Kitgwang in northern Upper Nile state accusing Machar of surrendering to President Salva Kiir’s government at the expense of opposition forces who have largely remained outside the peace agreement since Machar moved to Juba in 2020.
Following the announcement, Machar and allies in Juba dismissed the coup as a plan of unnamed peace spoilers who are not for the completion of the security arrangements provided for in the revitalized peace agreement and which would see the unification of the country’s rival forces to form a professional national army. Machar then dismissed General Gatwech along with three opposition commanders including General Johnson Olony and General Thomas Mabor Dhol from the SPLA-IO.
However, South Sudan lawmaker General Salva Mathok who last served in the government as the country’s deputy minister of interior called on President Salva Kiir Mayardit and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny to suspend the implementation of the agreement saying the two leaders should set eyes on the move of General Simon Gatwech which he said may return the world’s youngest country to civil war.
“The critical part of the (peace) agreement is the security arrangement, it’s very sensitive and needs to be approached in transparent manner, and otherwise it can push us back to war again. We don’t want any unnecessary confusion that may come through the security arrangement,” General Mathok is quoted by Juba-Echo as saying.
“My advice to the President and FVP Machar is that they should delay the graduation of unified forces and dig out the objectives and motives of Gen. Dual who is accusing Machar and SPLM-IG of conniving to frustrate security arrangement. I am against something that will destabilize the country. Let us go slowly with the security arrangement, if we rush it may put us into war again,” added Mathok.
The legislator said: “When the SPLA-IO are hurriedly integrated into the SSPDF, the issue of seniority, experience among others may arise, take for example of the National Security Services (NSS) they are representing all the tribes in the country. If any forces are going to NSS, what are the modalities to be considered?”