Juba, South Sudan,
June 22, 2021 – SPLM-IO General Chief of Staff 1st Lt. Simon Gatwech Dual has turned down his appointment as Presidential Advisor for Peace by President Salva Kiir saying he is not desperate for positions in government but rather eager to see the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement succeeds.
Gatwech was appointed last night through a Republican Decree by Mr. Kiir as Presidential advisor for Peace. Kiir also named Dr. Costello Garang Ring Lual as Advisor for Presidential Affairs in unprecedented development least expected by many.
According to a reliable source who spoke to Nyamilepedia, Gatwech said Dr. Riek Machar, the country’s First Vice President and Chairman of the SPLM-IO consulted him prior to his appointment but he told him that he would not accept such an offer in the face of the fragile security situation in the country.
Gatwech’s appointment was welcomed by many people who have seen the decision by President Kiir as a progressive step in establishing an inclusive government.
However, SPLM-IO erstwhile loyalists had a parallel take saying the appointment was a political tactic aimed at destabilizing the party.
Mr. Gatwech cleared the air assuring the public and SPLM-IO supporters in particular that he rejected Kiir’s appointment adding that he is not fighting for a seat but for sustainable and lasting peace.
“We are not after positions, but after a genuine implementation of the revitalized peace agreement and that is why this appointment doesn’t work,” he said.
He further said that he recalls the 2013 incident and all those killed. Gatwech also said he has not forgotten the 40-day life-saving walk to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for safety when another round of conflict erupted in 2016.
The army asked whether security arrangements have been implemented for such an appointment to be taken up.