August 11, 2015(Nyamilepedia) —- The recently relieved major generals of SPLA in Opposition, Maj.Gen Peter Gatdet Yak and Maj. Gen. Gathoth Gatkuoth have made their full declaration in Khartoum, Sudan, this afternoon, August 11th, 2015.
The generals are calling for re-invigoration of IGAD-PLUS peace talks to exclude the two warring principles Dr. Riek Machar Teny and Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit.
Addressing a conference in Khartoum, Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet Yaka narrates that the war has taken nearly two years without reaching any conclusive compromises or shown any adherent to earlier agreements while the citizens continue to suffer as war escalates.
“It is now two years since the conflict in South Sudan erupted in Juba on the 15th of December 2013. While IGAD and IGAD PLUS continue to exert tireless and tremendous efforts to mediate peace talks between the warring parties, fighting is spreading and innocent lives continue to be lost. Humanitarian work is being hampered by both parties to the conflict.” Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet said.
“Despite the signing of Cessation of Hostilities (COH) by both parties, the COH continues to be violated with untold devastation of lives and property.” Gatdet continues.
Referring to their earlier letter, written on July 7th, 2015, to address the Proposed Compromise Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, the general clarify their position as :
1. We reject any peace agreement that includes President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar in the leadership of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU). The two leaders have become symbols of hate and conflict and are obstacles to peace as both leaders wrangle over who should lead.
Similarly the two communities of Nuer and Dinka have become so polarized and divided to the extent that one community will reject the leadership of the other. Other sons and daughters of South Sudan should be allowed to lead during the transitional period and both President Kiir and Dr. Riek should wait for the next coming elections and contest for the presidency if they so desire. If this should not be the case then we suggest that a military led Transitional government comprising officers from both parties be formed until next elections are conducted.
In addition, the generals strongly oppose the SPLM re-unification agreement, signed by President Kiir and Riek Machar in Arusha, Tanzania on 21th January 2015.
According to the generals, the re-unification has a number of shortcomings that they believe would jeopardize the implementation of the peace agreement and future reconciliations among the citizens. They list the following:
- The reunification of SPLM confirms a return to status quo that plunged the Country to the current civil war triggered off by Juba December 2013 massacres.
- It takes the Country back to the dictatorial rule of SPLM as witnessed from 2005 up to date. This means that there will be no political space for other political actors in South Sudan
- The SPLM/SPLA-IO is a multi party resistance movement comprising of political and military forces that are opposed to Juba regime which has turned its guns against innocent citizens.
- The reunification of the SPLM/A may compromise democratic transformation, reforms and federal system and will encourage one party dictatorship.
SPLM/A-IO Internal Issues
The sacked generals, who declared to maintain their positions as established by the SPLM/SPLA Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar, accused their chairman of mismanaging the movement and now declare to denounce his leadership.
“The SPLM/A-IO has a leadership crisis over the management of the movement. Dr. Riek has mismanaged and failed to unite the movement.” Gatdet said.
Gen. Gatdet accused Machar of making unilateral decisions without consulting the generals at the front-line.
“WE the Generals of the SPLM/A in Opposition have lost CONFIDENCE IN THE LEADERSHIP OF DR. RIEK MACHAR TENY, and from today he ceases to be the Chairman and Commander in Chief of SPLM/A-IO.” The general states.
Gen. Gathoth Gatkuoth accuses both Dr. Machar and Gen. Taban Deng Gai of refusing to hand over the office of logistic to his leadership as he severally requested.
The general calls for a regime change through election proposing that both Dr. Machar and Mr. Kiir must give ways for the generals to reorganize the country until the next elections.
“Our objective is to bring about a regime change through elections in South Sudan in order to bring a sustainable peace and development to our people. We therefore appeal to all people of South Sudan, all political parties, regional leaders and international community to support us in this political move.” Gen. Gatdet said.
“We call upon our gallant forces and the white army to remain united wherever they are in our areas of control and repulse any aggressors.” he continued.
Gen. Gatdet also calls on all the political forces to join him and restore the nation from collapse.
“To all political forces in SPLM/A and beyond, we call upon you to join us as people who have the Country and its people at heart. Together we can bring back our nation from the brink of collapse.” he said.
The generals, who have been sanctioned by the United States, European Unions and the United Nations, accused Mr. Kiir and Dr. Machar of igniting the current conflict and therefore urge IGAD-PLUS mediators to exclude the two leaders from the leadership of the proposed Transitional Government of National Unity.
“Dr. Riek Machar has already accepted to work with Salva Kiir as his Vice President in the Transitional Government of National Unity. These leaders have become symbols of hate, division and failed Leadership. Both leaders were responsible for igniting the current crisis. We strongly reject IGAD proposal that gives leadership of the transitional Government of National Unity to both President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar. The Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) should be led by South Sudanese who have the Country and its people at heart.” Gen. Peter Gatdet Yaka said.
According to Major General Peter Gatdet, who maintains his titles as the Deputy Chief of General Staff for Operation, other SPLA-IO generals who support this declaration will maintain their positions and the objectives of SPLM/SPLA in Opposition.
The generals blame their counterparts, and Chief of General Staff for SPLA in Opposition, Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, for denying his signatures on the documents they submitted to IGAD-plus mediators.
Although the generals did not provide their full hierarchy, they promise to finalize their way forwards to be released in their subsequent press releases.