JUBA – Former South Sudan main armed opposition SPLA-IO chief of staff General Simon Gatwech Dual has said that SPLA-IO chief of military intelligence General Dhiling Keah Chuol was responsible for recent opposition factional clash which occurred in Magenis near the Sudanese border saying he personally ordered opposition forces allied to SPLM-IO leader and South Sudan First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar to attack him.
On Saturday morning, fierce fighting erupted at Magenis, two days after General Gatwech announce a coup in which he ousted Machar as the SPLM-IO leader before declaring himself the new SPLM/A (IO) Chairman and Commander in Chief. He had accused Machar of weakening opposition interests in the ongoing implementation of the revitalized peace agreement with President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
Speaking to Sudans Post on Sunday morning, General William Gatjiath Deng, the factional SPLA-IO spokesman allied to General Gatwech, said they have credible information that General Dhiling Keah Chuol who he describe as Machar’s relative, personally ordered without Machar’s knowledge Tiger Battalion to attack their forces in Magenis.
“We have very credible information both from Khartoum and from Juba that the attack on our forces was not authorized by Riek Machar himself. He had no information that we are going to be attacked and the only person who authorized the attack was comrade General Dhiling Keah Chuol who see himself as a relative of Dr. Riek Machar,” Gatjiath said.
He claimed that the attack was engineered by Dhiling with the help of Bangoang Tuong, an opposition officer allied to Machar who works at the office of the SPLM-IO chairman and said the two are also responsible for the differences that occurred between General Simon Gatwech Dual and Dr. Riek Machar saying Gatwech has always been unable to contact Machar because his office staff were not connecting them.
“General Dhiling was assisted by Bangoang Tuong who works for multi-purposes in the office of Riek Machar and he is also responsible for all the problems that have occurred between the former chairman and General Simon Gatwech Dual. There has been problem in communication and General Gatwech has been unable to talk to Machar personal,” he said.
“When he calls Dr. Riek, they tell him that he is not free to speak and the most recent time the two of them spoke was when there were rumors of General Gatwech’s replacement. Dr. Riek called Gatwech and assured him that he has not been removed and that is the first time for them to speak since 2020,” he added.