Juba, South Sudan,
June 28,2021 — Responding to the Chief of Staff of the SPLM/A-IO, 1st. Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, the new press secretary of Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Mr. Puok Both Baluang, clarified areas of misunderstanding between the Chairman and the Chief of Staff.
In a statement extended to Nyamilepedia, Baluang who doubles as the SPLM-IO Director of Information and Public Relations and a press secretary, says Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual was consulted before he was appointed.
According to Baluang, the Chief of Staff agreed to take up the position adding that the Presidency had to agree to expand the advisory portfolios from two to four for the SPLM_IO and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) to have their share of cake in the presidential advisory board.
“I would like to clarify the following: Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual Oath was appointed with his full knowledge and consent through a Republican Decree on 21st June 2021 as Presidential Advisor for Peace”, reads the statement.
” Per article 1.11.4 of R-ARCSS, the Presidency deliberated on increasing the number of advisors to four in two separate meetings in the past six (6) month so that SPLM/SPLA (IO) and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) could each nominate an advisor” Baluang expalined.
According to the Acting Press Secretary of Dr. Machar, the Chief of Staff was nominated into this position more than six months ago.
“SPLM/SPLA-IO leadership nominated General Simon Gatwech six months ago. This nomination was discussed in these two meetings”, Baluang stated in the statement.
He also stressed that Gen. Simon Gatwech was instructed by Machar in a written letter to take oath in Khartoum where his arrangements for his travel to Juba was being processed.
The newly assigned press secretary reaffirmed Machar’s decision to remove Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual as SPLA_IO General Chief of staff with effect from 22nd of June 2021.
“Furthermore, H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, the Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) and the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan relieved Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual Oath from the position of Chief of General Staff of the SPLA (IO) with effect from Tuesday 22nd June 2021.” Baluang wrote.
Baluang did not reveal who the new Chief of Staff to replace Gen. Dual is or was to be appointed.
Several calls were made by Nyamilepedia to reach the Press Secretary of Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual for comment but went unsuccessful.