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SouthSudanNewsAgency.org: South Sudan peace in limbo as SPLM-IO disunity escalates

Posted by: Berhane.Habtemariam59@web.de

Date: Sunday, 03 February 2019

SPLM/A-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar. photo: Vice News/File

Juba, February 3, 2019 (SSNA) — The September 2018 peace agreement that was signed in Khartoum is nearing its demise, a senior military General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) on Saturday.

The General, who demanded complete anonymity because he doesn’t want to be identified, explained that the leadership of the armed opposition lost has is has been fighting for, branding it as “confused and desperate.”

“Nobody went to the bush to fight against Salva Kiir for positions. This peace only offers positions. There is no change in the very system we waged this war against,” the General explained, adding, “If the SPLM-IO political leadership is confused and desperate for positions without change then South Sudan should prepare for a continuation of the war.”

The South Sudan News Agency is aware that the armed opposition faces internal disagreement with at least five senior five military Generals threatening to abandon the movement if SPLM-IO orders its military wing to fight alongside government forces against the National Salvation Front (NAS).

The disunity, according to the General, happened hours after the SPLA-IO deputy chief of staff James Koang Chuol Ranley held a joint news conference, threatening the NAS leader Thomas Cirillo with a joint military action.

“The SPLM/A-IO has nothing with the NAS. Thomas Cirillo is fighting the same war we are fighting against the same dictatorial leadership of Salva Kiir. If Riek Machar thinks he can order us [the military leaders] to fight against the NAS, he is very wrong,” reveals the General.

“The SPLA-IO is not in any position to forgive a person [Kiir] who in December 2013 massacred civilians simply because they were of a different ethnicity,” asserted the visibly general.

Last week, the National Salvation Front accused the SPLM-IO of embracing what it described as “faked-up peace.” The NAS told the SSANA that it refuses to back the deal because the pact failed to address the roots cause of the conflict and that the agreement is a “recipe for more conflicts.”

The General also disclosed that discussions are being held at the political and military leadership levels and that the armed opposition is “definitely heading towards collapse” if its leader, Dr. Machar didn’t take immediate action. The officer further states that many SPLA-IO military Generals are angry at Gen. James Koang Chuol after he held a joint news conference with the General Chief of Staff of the national army (SSPDF) General Gabriel Jok Riak, threatening to attack NAS if it continues refusing to accept the Khartoum’s peace agreement.

Attempts by the South Sudan News Agency to get reactions from the SPLA-IO Chief of Staff First Lt. General Gatwech Dual were unsuccessful.

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