South Sudan continues to have a rocky path toward achieving a long lasting peace. Many of the existing strategies including the Revitalized peace agreement signed in 2018 by the waring factions.
On 4th of August, 2021 Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual declared what he called Kitgwang declaration as SPLM/A-IO movement based in Magenis and announced himself as its ring leader. With only week following the Gatwech declaration, several other key personnel within the Machar led group joined the Gatwech led movement and this include among others like the Former Deputy Chairman of SPLM-IO, Henry Odwar as head of political wing.
One of the opposition personnel who identifies with the Kitgwang factional of SPLM/SPLA (IO) under the sole leadership General Simon Gatwech Dual has said the unpredictable commander and General Johnson Olony Thabo, will not travel to Juba even if a peace agreement is signed between them and the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit over security concerns.
Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual has in the past weeks become a hot cake in South Sudan. Reports imaged yesterday of a group claiming that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) in Arab Republic of Egypt loyal to the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar has defected and joined Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual.
The anonymous official said the fear by the two opposition commanders to return to Juba is evidenced in several attempts by President Salva Kiir Mayardit to assassinate them, saying Kiir himself had directed an attempt to kill General Johnson Olony in 2015 before defecting to Machar the a few month later.
The un identified official was quoted saying “What I am sure of is that 1st Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual and Lt. Gen. Johnson Olony Thabo will not return to Juba in the near future even if they reach a compromise agreement with the regime of Salva Kiir Mayardit to end the conflict in the country because of their security,”
According to him, the main reason is that the regime has attempted to take the lives of the two generals at several occasions. General Olony was about to be killed in 2015 when he fled to join the SPLM-IO which was by then led by Dr. Riek Machar.
He further added that the regime in Juba had also tried to kill General Simon Gatwech Dual in December 2013 following his release from detention saying he was released because they didn’t want him to be killed while in the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) custody.
Additionally, General Gatwech fled Juba because following death threats. While he was in jail, the general foresaw that was being targeted and was meant to be killed outside government custody in a bid to kill evidence of his assailants.
In August, the regime of Salva Kiir conspired with Riek Machar and attacked the Magenis based headquarters in Kit-Gwang where several lives were lost but Gen. Simon Gatwech and his soldiers repelled the attackers and maintained heir offices.
It should be noted that Gen. Gatwech and Gen. Olony are citizens of South Sudan who want to serve the people of South Sudan and save them from the dictatorial regime of President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, the first vice president.
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