JUBA – The SPLA-IO chief of General Staff General Simon Gatwech Dual has said that General William Gatjiath Deng who was replaced as the group’s spokesman is still the SPLA-IO spokesman despite removal by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
Last week, Machar replaced Brigadier-general William Gatjiath and appointed his deputy Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel who is currently in Juba as the new spokesman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition.
This comes after a damning audio surfaced of General William Gatjiath speaking in a phone call with unidentified caller in which General Gatjiath uncovered details of his last month’s visit to South Sudan’s capital Juba.
Speaking to Sudans Post from Magenis this morning, General Gatwech denied speculations that General William Gatjiath Deng was being held over the phone call revelation and said the opposition mouthpiece was still in his position despite replacement by the Commander in Chief of the opposition military.
“That is not true, I was with him this morning and I haven’t put him in jail. The Audio is false and was fabricated by enemies of peace within the SPLA-IO to portray us to the people of South Sudan as betrayers,” General Gatwech said from Magenis.
“No he is still the spokesman of the SPLA-IO,” General Gatwech said when asked if he accept the decision of Machar appointing Colonel Lam Paul as the new SPLA-IO military as the spokesman. “There are a lot of appointments that have taken place in the last month; did any of them come to reality?”
Asked about the expulsion of General Johnson Olony and General Mabor Dhol from Khartoum, General Gatwech said: “I will not comment on certain issues including this one because it is a private military affair that does not need public attention.”
The senior opposition commander further said he remains the SPLA-IO chief of General Staff despite his removal by Machar in Juba saying all the SPLA-IO forces in the bush were still under his command.
“I am still in control with the SPLA-IO forces and all the decision being taken from the hotels in Juba are not considered here,” the powerful opposition military chief concluded.