JUBA, MAY 14, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – The leader of the opposition SPLA-IO Kitgwang (Agwelek) faction General Johnson Olony Thabo on Sunday declared that he does not want to fight again after arriving back to Juba more than ten years.
Olony who defected from the government in 2015 after joining it two years earlier on Sunday afternoon returned to Juba as part of an arrangement provided for in a 2022 peace agreement, he signed with the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
“I am here for peace. I was supposed to come back in the past few days, but I was a bit busy handling some things,” he said.
“I grew up here in Juba, and it is a city for all of us. I have come to join hands with President Salva Kiir to work together, and God willing; the country will not return to war again,” he said.
Olony said that he has returned to Juba with his deputy Mabor Dhol but will return to Malakal to make peace and participate in the development of the city.
“I have come with my deputy Gen. Thomas Mabor, Beny Moun and other senior officers,” he said.
“Hopefully, after five days, we will return to Malakal and mobilize the youth and other citizens so that we work with the state and national governments so that Malakal also grows like Juba,” he added.
Olony defected from the government in 2015 after having been ordered by Kiir to return to Juba which he had suspected was a set up to have him arrested. Days before his defection, a senior member of his army was killed by armed youth near Akoka.
He then defected to join the main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by First Vice President Riek Machar, but then defected from there again in 2021 after his appointment as governor of Upper Nile was turned down by Kiir.
In January last year, he signed a peace agreement with President Kiir’s government and his return today is a significant development in the implementation process of the deal whose implementation has also been criticized by other signatories such as General Simon Gatwech Dual.
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