May 07, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — The notorious fierce fighter, Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet Yaka has told the BBC that he can’t put down his gun, unless presented with a truthful truce.
Gatdet swiftly seized his home town of Bentiu in mid April from the government troops capturing and killing many government soldiers, who hesitated to surrender. Some generals like Carlo Kuol, a commander of SSLA rebels who fought alongside the government troops, were spared to join the armed opposition.
Gatdet with his counterpart, Maj. Gen. James Koang Chuol warned the government troops of serious consequences should they refuse to surrender, prior to Bentiu battle.
The intense battle saw many controversial Sudanese killed in a mosque. The anti-government forces reported killing Sudanese rebels hiding in the mosque, however, the UN reported the dead as Sudanese traders and civilians seeking protection.
It is yet to be verified why the civilians hide in the Mosques despite the present of UNMISS camp in the town, however, Machar has pledged to investigate the incident.
The government troops visited the town of Bentiu for a few hours over the weekend, however, Gatdet announced that they have suffered casualties and left 3 tanks and ammunition behind.
Gatdet is a well known fighter in the South Sudanese army. He has been deployed in the most troubled areas like Abyei and Malakal during the CPA to retake the town from the Sudanese army or monitor peace in the area.
In this conflict, Gatdet has fiercely fought battalions of Ugandans and South Sudanese troops in Jonglei state. He occupied the town of Bor with limited supply until the Uganda warplanes began aerial campaigns and massive ground deployment to retake the town.
Gatdet is now leading the list of South Sudanese sanctioned by the US government, however, he believes that he will not give up fighting unless presented with a legitimate ceasefire.
Gatdet fought the government citing corruption and dictatorship in the past, however, he accepted an amnesty that got him arrested for nearly two years, after landing in Juba for a peace talk with the government.
Gatdet was released into battle fields of Jonglei state in 2013 to quilt David Yau Yau’s rebellion and to lead the government disarmament campaigns against the white army.
Gatdet joined Machar on December 17, 2013 following the government led massacre of his tribe mates in Juba.
Gen. Marial Chanoung, the presidential guards commander, is also sanctioned for ethnic targeting in Juba.
Public Reactions on Sanctioning Gatdet and Marial:
Critics believes that sanctioning Gatdet and Marial is all mistaken. Some believe that Gatdet is fighting in self defence and Marial is not in the battlefield to dictate the conflict.
“So General Peter Gadet is being sanctioned. I was sitting in the bush with Gadet and Machar in late Feb and I have to point out some interesting things. First Salva Kiir started the violence by ordering the Presidential guard disarmed to prevent a fictional coup by Machar. Secondly the Nuers are fighting in self defense. After years of marginalization and now mass murder they have no choice but to defend their lands and possibly march into Juba. Thirdly don’t believe anything that says “brink” or “verge” South Sudan is in the midst of a civil war. Half of the country is controlled by forces hostile to Salva Kiir. So the US govt is being disingenuous by pretending to uphold a peace process and ignoring that Kiir launched a massive attack on two fronts, two days after Kerry met with him. And as for the sanctions…where do you think Gadet, Kiir and others get their money from?” Robert Young Pelton, a filmmaker, journalists and adventurer.
Although Marial Chanoung is the presidential guards commander some critics believe that it is the current Chief of Staff, Gen. Malong Awan, who conducted the Juba massacre.
“Why would you sanction Marial Chanoung instead of Malong Awan who recruited 15,000 tribal militia to kill Nuer in an attempt to establish dictatorial leader Salva Kiir to silence the Nuer people. It is Malong and Salva Kiir who ordered Marial to kill his in-laws. Marial married a Nuer lady and he cannot just massacre Nuer like that. Malong was directly ordered by dictator Salva Kiir and Museveni to kill the Nuer people using his Gelweng militia. Now Malong is rewarded with the post of chief of staff. Even if Marial was part of Juba massacre, Malong Awan is the commander who gives orders in the battlefields. Gatdet is defending himself and his people from Malong Awan, who killed his family members in Juba but not Marial. US sanctions are biased” Clement Mading Samuel stated