A faction of the defected militants from South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, SPLA-IO, led by General Simon Gatwech Dual has warned of imminent attack anticipated by the Machar forces who are planning a devastating attack at his headquarters in Magenis.
A statement, by Brigadier General William Gatjiath Deng, the SPLA-IO spokesman loyal to General Simon Gatwech Dual, said forces loyal to Machar under the direct command of the SPLA-IO spy chief General Yieh Dak are on their way and expected to attack Magenis any time.
Simon Gatwech Dual is a South Sudanese rebel leader who was born in Uror County, Jonglei state, South Sudan.
He joined the (SPLM) during the struggle against the Sudanese Government and broke away in 1991 when the now First Deputy Vice President Dr.Riek Machar and Lam Akol formed the SPLA Nasir faction. He joined the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) in 2013 when war broke out in Juba between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to the opposition led by Machar.
Gatwech was appointed as chief of general staff of the SPLA-IO on 21 December 2014 and remains in that position. He returned to Juba following the August 2015 peace agreement between Mayardit and Machar.
General Gatjiath in his statement further said, the merciless forces loyal to the former Chairman Dr. Riek Machar Teny, are now on their way coming to attack the SPLA (IO) at Kit-gwang Head Quarters, as already exposed by their warmonger Gen.Yiey Dak, the director of national security who was giving the farewell salutation to their forces,”
General Gatwech is a senior opposition officer and has been accused of being the brain behind the SPLM-IO split. The general has issued a warning saying that their forces are on high alert and will respond with a huge force to the hostile forces that he said are expected to touch base in Magenis.
General Simon Gatwech Dual defected from Machar’s group and is currently commanding a strong and powerful force that has in recent weeks been subsequently attacked by the said Machar forces as revenge despite being unsuccessful.
Several attacks have been conducted by the Machar-led forces. The last attack on general Gatwech’s forces left at least 32 people dead when violence broke out earlier this month just days after Machar’s foes in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) said they had ousted him as party leader and head of its armed forces. Several peace negotiating bodies condemned the attack highly and warned against the systemic implementation of the Revitalized peace deal signed by both leaders in 2018.
A number of leaders within the Machar group have defected and joined the Kit-Gwang headquarters accusing Machar of nepotism and high-end corruption. The latest to join the Gatwech Led group id the former deputy to Machar joined the unity government last year as a leading member of Machar’s SPLM-IO party,
Hon. Henry Odwar was the former minister of Mining who also served as Machar’s deputy Odwar’s decision to walk away will likely weaken Machar’s influence in the Equatoria region, his former deputy’s base. Henry Odwar declared support for the Kitgwang faction and is very supportive in serving Gen Gatwech in his new role.
In a welcome remark by the Supreme Military Council, the appointment of Henry Odwar was historic with full support. Following his departure from the Machar led Group, “ The SPLA/IO Military Council after the Kit-Gwang declaration, under the interim Chairman and Commander in chief General Simon Gatwech Dual, based on the powers vested in him, by the Supreme Military Council appointed Hon Henry Odwar as head of the Council of Political Bureau (CPB).
As a matter of fact, all former Political Bureau and the National Liberation Council (NLC) members should report themselves to the new SPLM/IO Head of the Council of Political Bureau until political reorganization within the movement is completed, he said, according to last month press release to send to media outlets.
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