‘SPLM-IO Kit-Gwang objects to Juba talks’

‘SPLM-IO Kit-Gwang objects to Juba talks’
General Simon Gatwech Dual (photo credit: Getty Images)

The leadership of the SPLM/A-IO faction under Gen. Simon Gatwech has allegedly objected to President Salva Kiir’s suggestion to relocate the venue for negotiations to South Sudan’s capital, Juba.

Yesterday, James Kalany Mamoun, the Press Secretary of Chairperson of the SPLM-IO Kit-Gwang group Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, claimed that the group wants the talks to continue in Khartoum.

“Well, we met Hon. Tutkew when he came to Khartoum, we discussed the start of the negotiation and he didn’t inform us about that plan,” Kalany said as quoted by Sudans Post. 

“ But what we stand for is that Sudan is the seat of the IGAD and any plan to have talks moved away from here won’t be accepted by the SPLM/SPLA IO,”  he added.

The City Review sought a comment from the Presidential Press Secretary Ateny Wek Ateny on this development but Mr Ateny said he was not aware of such a decision made by Gen. Gatwech’s group.

“I don’t have knowledge about that. You can talk to those who are concerned,” said Ateny.

The City Review attempted on several occasions to reach the Minister of Presidential Affairs Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin but the efforts were futile.

Earlier this month, President Salva Kiir, through his aide suggested to Gen. Gatwech and his deputy Gen. Johnson Olony to have talks initiated in October in Khartoum transferred to Juba.

Presidential Security Advisor Tut Gatluak made public the suggestion when he led the South Sudanese delegation to Sudan to mediate the ongoing political crisis in Sudan.

“We are not in Sudan to continue the talks with the group of Gen. Gatwech and Gen. Johnson Olony. We are here for the Sudanese parties to talk to them and to end their dispute,” said Gatluak last week.

He added: “Nevertheless, we are also going to meet with the group of Gen. Gatwech and Gen. Olony because there is a proposal from the President of the State of South Sudan 1st-Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit that the talks with the two generals be moved to Juba because here is not stable. I mean the security situation here,” he added.

Gen. Gatwech, who purported to have dethroned the First Vice President, Dr Riek Machar, as the Chairperson of the party and Commander-in-Chief of the SPLA-IO, wants the implementation of the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement, which will ensure integration of his stranded forces into the national army.

The group had declared that they were not against anybody but after the implementation of provisions of Chapter Two of the security arrangement paramount to ending all violence and restoring the country’s stability.

In October, Gen. Olony expressed their commitment to the revitalised peace agreement as well as readiness to dialogue with the government to get their forces integrated.

The circumstance under which Kit-Gwang split from the main armed opposition group sparked worry among the peace granters and monitors who called for a swift solution to prevent ruining the ongoing peace process in South Sudan.