General Gatwech the SPLM-IO leader and former opposition military chief of staff says that President Salva Kiir Mayardit is planning to assassinate him and Machar by perpetuating an opposition infighting which he said Kiir would want to end with the killing of the two leaders.
Simon Gatwech Dual (Gatwech Dual) has engaged in actions or policies that threaten the peace, security or stability of South Sudan and is a leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), an entity that has engaged in: actions that threaten the peace, security or stability of South Sudan and targeted civilians, including women and children, through the commission of acts of violence.
Gatwech Dual is the former SPLM-IO Chief of General Staff and was previously the commander of opposition forces in Jonglei State and now the Commandant of the SPLM/IO forces.
A number of people are talking that I don’t know what the intention of this fighting among ourselves is, but the truth is that I am aware Salva Kiir initiated this war by impeding the implementation of the security arrangements so that we fight among ourselves because he know some of the opposition are for the full implementation of the agreement.
The top opposition commander said he spoke to Machar about what they were doing when he wrote to the IGAD earlier this year saying they were trying to make Machar’s position stronger by telling the IGAD that the peace agreement was not being implemented, but said Machar was wrongly advised by people he said are close to him that General Gatwech was trying to replace him causing suspicions between the two men.
Gatwech says he is not interested in becoming First Vice President and he doesn’t want any political position in South Sudan government and after the unification of forces is completed, he will go home since he has children in foreign countries and in the diaspora who have money and who don’t have any problem of me staying at home
In 2014 to 2015, Gatwech Dual had a large number of troops under his command and operated somewhat autonomously in leading attacks. Gatwech Dual oversees the deployment of SPLM-IO and likely the deployment of some White Army (a Nuer youth militia) forces as well.
In August this year, Gen Gatwech and a group of senior generals in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) announced they had dismissed Dr Machar as commander of the group, accusing him of reneging on the movement’s vision.
But James Oryema, a senior official in the SPLM-IO and allied to Dr Machar, termed the move as “extreme”, and which could ruin the peace dividends by splintering the group.
According to Oryema, It will have no effect on the structure of the government of national unity referring to the position of Dr Machar as First Vice President, in a unity government created last year to end the war between his group, other factions and the government of President Salva Kiir.
The SPLM-IO generals ostensibly replaced Machar with his previous army Chief Simon Gatwech Dual with immediate effect.
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