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BREAKING: Machar fires army chief Simon Gatwech Dual

Juba, South Sudan

June 23rd, 2021 – Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the leader of the main armed opposition group in South Sudan has relieved his General Chief of Staff Simon Gatwech Dual, sparking leadership debacles in the ranks and files of the opposition.

BREAKING: Machar fires army chief Simon Gatwech Dual
General Simon Gatwech Dual, the chief of staff of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO), talks to the press in Juba on April 25, 2016.
 (Photo credit: ALBERT GONZALEZ FARRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

According to a statement published in Sudan Tribune, the order bearing the name and signature of South Sudan’s First Vice President in the coalition government, Machar said Mr. Gatwech has been removed and replaced with Gabriel Duop Lam.

“The former armed opposition army commander, a strong ally of Machar at the height of the conflict, has now been appointed as an adviser to the president on peace”, the statement read.

“The military spokesman of the group was also replaced and asked to report himself to the headquarters of the movement pending a decision on where to be deployed”, it added.

Gen. Gatwech Dual has not issued any statement lately to confirm whether he accepts or rejects the new assignment, his assistant yesterday confirmed to media.

Dual has always preferred full implementation of the peace agreement before he could return to the national capital, Juba. However, officials close to him and members of the opposition say he is dissatisfied with the way in which the security arrangements have been handled.

According to Chapter Two of the revitalized peace accord, which consists of the security arrangements, government and opposition forces are supposed to canton and train unified forces during a three-year transitional period leading into elections.

The forces are languishing at cantonment camps without food, shelters, and medicines. Last, month Kiir promised that the graduation will take place in no time while calling on Tut Gatluak, Presidential advisor for security affairs to mobilize resources to facilitate the process.

On the other hands, Machar’s inner circle, who were contacted by Nyamilepedia have denied knowledge of the letter and expressed concerns on the origin of the letter.

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