March 1, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —— Lt. Gen. Peter Gatdet Yak, also known as Jundi Iraq, calls on SPLM/A-IO chairman and Commander-in-Chief, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, to register his calls to return to the SPLM/A in Opposition to solve “Nuer’s problem once and for all”.
The fierce general, who fought bitterly in the current civil war between 2013 and 2015 under Dr. Machar’s leadership, contacted Nyamilepedia Press this morning to share his side of story on his attempts to convince the SPLM/A-IO leadership to re-join the opposition, a plea he believes was coldly downplayed by the Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
According to Gen. Gatdet, the former SPLA-IO Deputy Chief of Staff for Operation, he said he had a change of heart, which he believes was triggered by the July 8th 2016 incident that killed Machar’s bodyguards in Salva Kiir’s residence(J1) and almost killed the leader, and as such he despised his earlier decision to quit the Opposition and stay neutral.
Gatdet wishes he was in Juba in July 2016 to “capture President Salva Kiir alive”, terming the July 2016 incident as an attack on the Nuer tribe by “cowards who can’t face reality”.
He calls on Machar’s leadership to forget the past and open a new chapter to unite and fight together to restore Nuer dignity and reclaim the country from ruin.
Gatdet said he called and met with the SPLA-IO Chief of Staff, 1st Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, his Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration, Lt. Gen. CDR James Koang Chuol Ranleey and Lt. Gen. Ruai Kuol Jal, the IO military governor of Unity State, and shared with them that he wants to re-join the SPLM/A-IO.
“I met with: 1. General Simon Gatwech Dual, the SPLM/A-IO Chief of General Staff; 2. General James Koang Chuol, SPLM/A-IO Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration; and 3. Robert Ruai Kuol, Unity State Governor, and I told them that we must leave our individual personal difference and solve the Nuer problem because what happened on 8th-July 2016 was not Dr. Riek Machar’s problem but rather an entire Nuer Community’s problem” Gen. Gatdet said.
After discussion with military leaders of SPLM/A(IO) Gatdet believes that his message was extended to Dr. Machar but his former Chairman coldly downplayed his plea.
“Hopefully, these people extended what we discussed to Dr. Riek Machar but he seems to have downplayed it” Gatdet continued.
He said he called Dr. Machar on January 11th but his calls were turned down.
“Riek Machar ignored my calls on January 11th, 2017 that we should leave our personal disputes and continue debate on our disagreement with honesty and always pursue solidarity in order to get our people out of genocidal regime.” Gatdet said.
He said instead Dr. Machar urged him to publicly make his declaration to join the SPLM/A-IO but he sees that it makes no sense for him to make a declaration since he stayed out of the conflict.
The fierce fighter believes that Dr. Machar could be frustrating his efforts to rejoin the movement on security grounds that he could hurt Dr. Machar or the SPLM/A-IO again but he reiterates that he wants to join the movement to contribute to liberation struggle of his people.
Gatdet, other senior generals and elderly politicians abandoned SPLM/A-IO in mid 2015 over numerous grievances ranging from disagreements over the signing of the August 2015 peace agreement to internal differences and personal grudges, mostly, with Gen. Taban Deng Gai.
Generals like Gen. Gathoth Gatkuoth, according to his side of story which he shared with Nyamilepedia, defected by then because Gen. Taban frustrated his efforts to organize logistics to save vulnerable populations between April and May 2015 in Unity State in which many children, women and elderly were castrated, raped or killed by a government allied militias.
Gatdet, who has been approached by Lt. Gen. Paul Malong Awan, the SPLA-IG chief of general staffs and Gen. Taban Deng Gai to rejoin the regime but turned them down, said SPLM/A-IO should not dwell on the past but should rather strategize to defeat the enemy.
Gatdet condemns the killing of his comrade, Lt.Gen. Gabriel Tanginye and his colleagues on January 1st, 2017 in Upper Nile and believes that the IO are trying the same tactics on him.
Gatdet has switched sides many times in his career leaving his former colleagues in doubts on whether or not he would keep his promise.
Due to lack of confidence in him, Gatdet said he hasn’t given up trying and calls on the youth to pick up arms to defend themselves and their community.
“I also urged all the Nuer youths to act immediately and take up arms to rescue the suffering families and beloved ones in UNMISS camps, as I said during the time of war in 2014” Gatdet continued.