Gatwech faction wants security arrangements finalized outside Juba

Gatwech faction wants security arrangements finalized outside Juba
Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual (L) and Gen. Johnson Olony (photo credit: file)

The SPLM-IO Kit-Gwang faction led by Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual says the leadership of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity should send a delegation to Magenis or Khartoum to finalize the implementation of security arrangements.

This comes after the faction showed a willingness to negotiate with the government on the status of Chapter Two of the agreement.

The Deputy Commander at Kit-Gwang Gen. Johnson Olony said the breakaway group does not intend to reinvent the wheel of the agreement but was ready to discuss one of the most contentious chapters with the government.

“We don’t want to engage in a new peace negotiation but we need to revisit the revitalized peace agreement. After our declaration, President Kiir sent us a delegation from Juba headed by Abbot and Jockino to Khartoum and we told them clearly that we are for peace,” Olony said in an interview with Radio Tamazuj, over the weekend.

“So, we are still waiting for the government so that we can sit and discuss how to go about the implementation of the peace agreement through the supervision of Sudan,” he added.

When Gen. Olony did not specify the day the delegation was sent to Khartoum, he said his group did not hear from the side of the government ever since.

“The government is in support of any efforts for peace, of course. They say we should continue negotiating but since then we have not seen anybody from Juba as well,” Olony was quoted to have said.

“We want President Kiir to send us a delegation to come to us [in] Magenis or Khartoum and we finalize everything. We don’t want to go to Addis Ababa or Rome for peace negotiations. We are military commanders,” he added.

The government could not be reached for comments. The City Review’s several phone calls to Dr. Barnabas Marial Benjamin, Minister of Presidential Affairs were not answered by the time of going to press.

The City Review also called the Minister of Information and Government’s Spokesperson, Michael Makuei Lueth, whose phone was unreachable.

In August, Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, former SPLA-IO Chief of General Staff deposed the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, as the chairperson of the party and commander in chief of the armed forces as well.

‘Not against anyone’

“When we announced the Kit-Gwang Declaration, the intention was not against anyone, but we declared ourselves so that the people could understand us and tell the public that the implementation of the peace agreement was not going on well,” said Gen. Olony.

He pointed out that the Kit-Gwang faction demanded the negotiation of the implementation of the security arrangements and not the renegotiation of the whole content of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.

According to Chapter Two of the security arrangement, parties shall register, canton, screen, and train graduates and redeploy 83,000 necessary unified forces within eight months of the signing of the revitalized peace accord.

The Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) expressed concern over the delay that has resulted from nearly half of more than 40, 000 joint trainees deserting the training centers due to a deplorable situation.

Lack of basic commodities, including safe and clean drinking water, food, medicine, and shelter forced the trainees who have spent close to three years in the centers to vacate, according to the RJMEC.

Frustrated by the unbearable situation, many forces have quit in search of survival outside both cantonments and training centers.

To date, parties have been left with less than one and half years to complete all the critical outstanding tasks, including the graduation and redeployment of the first batch of the joint forces and begin training of the second and final batch.