Oct 26, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s Chief of Staff for the armed opposition, SPLA-IO, 1st Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, declares that his forces “will fight forthwith” if attacked again.
Speaking to a local radio station, Radio Tamazuj, the SPLA-IO Chief of Staff regrets that his forces are being constantly attacked by the government forces and nobody dares to do anything or to respond to his letters.
He believes that the peace agreement is no longer binding and his Commander-in-Chief is in jail in the capital, Juba.
“I have not received a reply up to now and I even wrote another request because there is a problem. On the 21st of September 2020, our forces were attacked in Moroto training camp, and on the 28th Forua training center was also attacked. On the 29th another training center was attacked. Then on the 4th of this month, a recce squad of ours was attacked. Yesterday at 5 pm our second headquarters base in Jekou was shelled using artillery pieces. Is this peace?” Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual said.
Gen. Gatwech has sent out letters calling on the region and the RTGoNU to allow the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, to be allowed to visit and brief the troops; however, he believes that all his kind words felt on deaf ears and therefore he has to do what he has to do.
“No. There is no response up to now. This now means I have to defend myself because Dr. Riek Machar is in jail.” Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual said.
“I cannot sit like a woman,
I will engage in self-defense forthwith.” He continued.
The Chief of Staff warns that his forces will fight back should they get attacked again.
“On the 21st, 28th, 29th of September, and the 4th of this month we have been continuously attacked and nothing has been done.” Dual said.
“This means that if we are attacked again like it happened yesterday evening, it means we will fight.” He continued.
He said the SPLM/A-IO military leadership has been waiting for the last 9 months to see any progress since Dr. Machar landed in Juba but they said they haven’t seen any success in the implementation so far.
“Months after months the salient points in the peace agreement are not being implemented. Dr. Machar went to implement the peace agreement in Juba 9 months ago and there is still no success in implementation. There is nothing so what can I do apart from self-defense.” Said the IO strong man.
The Anyanya veteran, said he will fight back immediately if his forces are attacked again.
“I will fight immediately if I am attacked again because I have evidence of the attacks on us. On the21st, 28th, 29th of last month, and on the 4th of this month, I defended myself. All this time we did not react and only defended ourselves. How can there be peace when these attacks continue?” He stressed.
According to Gen. Gatwech, the SPLM-IO leadership in Juba has been compromised, leaving his forces suffering in cantonment sites without food, shelter or proper training.
“Some people have been compromised with little money to scuttle the agreement.” Dual said.
“Even Dr. Riek Machar stays in one place and cannot move about in Juba and is worried about his security. He does not even have his bodyguard and is guarded by Salva Kiir’s guards. How can the person you fought with guard you?” He continued,
“Our forces are here without food and medicine and have not been passed out. These issues can negatively affect and fail this peace agreement and this is what the government in Juba desires. This is politics.” He further emphasized.