Why I Declined the appointment !
June 27, 2021 — Pursuant to the decree dated 21st June 2021, appointing me as the Advisor for Peace to the Office of the President, I, 1st Lt. General and Chief of overall SPLA-IO Forces do hereby informing all SPLA (IO) military units, SPLM/A (IO) loyalists and political sympathizers across the country and in Diaspora, the people of South Sudan at large, the region and the international community that I have declined the position I have been appointed to by the President of South Sudan, H.E. General Salva Kiir Mayardit due to the following reasons:
i. The security arrangements which is one of the corner stone and concrete guarantee to permanent peace in South Sudan is not fully implemented and lagging behind for almost two years;
ii. The fate of my young men and women who have been in the training centers and in the cantonment sites for almost one year and half is not known. I have already lost hundreds of them through starvation and many other health related issues, yet for the sake of bringing peace to the people of South Sudan, I have accepted to remain a peace partner;
iii. Security situation has been on the rise and deteriorating with tribes being fitted against each other while the government lack apparent mechanism to restore laws and order, but to only prolong insecurity;
iv. Internally Displaced People (IDPs) residing in United Nations protection Sites (POCs) are still languishing in vain and/or fearing to come out of such camps due to insecurity; v. And millions of South Sudanese people who sought refuge in foreign countries are not
thinking of returning home because of lack of political will from the peace partners in Juba, which then subjected to hopelessness
Assuredly, the September 2018, Peace Accord Signed in Addis Ababa was not signed to benefits the politicians, military generals and their families who seemed to be enjoying life in Juba; while, leaving the very innocent people we took up arms on their behalf over the past 21 years and those we signed the current peace on their behalf who are still suffering in isolation from within and outside the country to hardship.
Typically, my being in the bush is not of my own as an individual person, but to protect the lives of innocent civilians. If I were to compare my life with that of millions of South Sudanese, I would say the lives of millions of young and old South Sudanese who are enduring hardships daily due to lack of implementation of such peace is better than mine.
Assuredly, to you all my children, fellow comrades, and fellow South Sudanese from all ethnic groups, I am not ready to abandon you and leave you struggling helplessly in the middle of this manmade crisis created by politicians seemingly not concerning about your fate. I would be
happy to accept the appointment and the position if our politicians and the president of South Sudan heed to my call for a full implementation of the security arrangements, which if implemented will provide hope and a sense of security to every South Sudanese citizen regardless of their socioeconomic, genders and ethnicities.
I would be ready and happy to live as an ordinary citizen in Juba, and elsewhere within the country if the least common members of our society are not any longer facing an unenduring life inadvertently brought about by people who don’t want to put their people first.
My simple message to President Kiir and his colleagues from the political wing is to implement the peace, and above all the security arrangements without reservations and deception of any kind. Then, I will be ready to join you in Juba. However, without full implementation of the peace and the completion of the security arrangements, any other attempts would be considered a conspiracy with the intention of returning the country to war.
1st Lt. General Simon Gatwech Dual, the Chief of General Staffs of the SPLM/A (IO)