Kiir sought Gatwech’s support to create “a humiliating” political defeat for Machar – group
The Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based independent research group has said that President Salva Kiir Mayardit had sought Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual's support in hope to create a humiliating development for First Vice President and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
JUBA – The Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based independent research group has said that President Salva Kiir Mayardit had sought Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual’s support in hope to create a humiliating development for First Vice President and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
Gen. Gatwech attempted to remove Machar in August following three-day gathering of top opposition commander in northern Upper Nile state’s Magenis town. The commanders accused Machar of surrendering to President Salva Kiir’s regime at the expense of the security arrangements provided for in the revitalized peace agreement.
A month earlier, Gen. Gatwech’s spokesman Brigadier General William Gatjiath Deng was caught speaking in a telephone detailing a meeting he said he had with General Akol Koor, the Director General of the National Security Service’s Internal Security Bureau in which Gen. Akol Koor asked him to inform Gen. Gatwech of President Kiir’s desire for removal of Machar as leader of the SPLM-IO.
In a report released this week, the Small Arms Survey said President Salva Kiir Mayardit had initially made overtures to Gen. Gatwech’s Kitgwang faction in an attempt to weaken Machar and continue the control over the state institutions.
“Initially, Kiir’s regime made overtures to the Kitgwang faction. Gatwech joining the SSPDF would have made for a humiliating development for Machar, and discredited his claim that the SPLA-IO constitutes a substantive opposition in South Sudan. However, such a move is a non-starter for Gatwech,” the report seen by Sudans Post reads in part.
It said “Gatwech staked the Kitgwang Declaration on a critique of Machar’s self-interested abandonment of the Nuer people for a seat in government. Joining the government forces would rob Gatwech of the credibility and popularity that he currently has among his supporters.”
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