South Sudan peace in limbo as SPLM-IO disunity escalates

SPLM/A-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar. photo: Vice News/File

Juba, February 2, 2019 (SSNA) — The September 2018 peace agreement that was signed in Khartoum is nearing its demise, a senior military General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) on Saturday.

The General, who demanded complete anonymity because he doesn’t want to be identified, explained that the leadership of the armed opposition lost has is has been fighting for, branding it as “confused and desperate.”

“Nobody went to the bush to fight against Salva Kiir for positions. This peace only offers positions. There is no change in the very system we waged this war against,” the General explained, adding, “If the SPLM-IO political leadership is confused and desperate for positions without change then South Sudan should prepare for a continuation of the war.”

The South Sudan News Agency is aware that the armed opposition faces internal disagreement with at least five senior five military Generals threatening to abandon the movement if SPLM-IO orders its military wing to fight alongside government forces against the National Salvation Front (NAS).

The disunity, according to the General, happened hours after the SPLA-IO deputy chief of staff James Koang Chuol Ranley held a joint news conference, threatening the NAS leader Thomas Cirillo with a joint military action.

“The SPLM/A-IO has nothing with the NAS. Thomas Cirillo is fighting the same war we are fighting against the same dictatorial leadership of Salva Kiir. If Riek Machar thinks he can order us [the military leaders] to fight against the NAS, he is very wrong,” reveals the General.

“The SPLA-IO is not in any position to forgive a person [Kiir] who in December 2013 massacred civilians simply because they were of a different ethnicity,” asserted the visibly general.

Last week, the National Salvation Front accused the SPLM-IO of embracing what it described as “faked-up peace.” The NAS told the SSANA that it refuses to back the deal because the pact failed to address the roots cause of the conflict and that the agreement is a “recipe for more conflicts.”

The General also disclosed that discussions are being held at the political and military leadership levels and that the armed opposition is “definitely heading towards collapse” if its leader, Dr. Machar didn’t take immediate action. The officer further states that many SPLA-IO military Generals are angry at Gen. James Koang Chuol after he held a joint news conference with the General Chief of Staff of the national army (SSPDF) General Gabriel Jok Riak, threatening to attack NAS if it continues refusing to accept the Khartoum’s peace agreement.

Attempts by the South Sudan News Agency to get reactions from the SPLA-IO Chief of Staff First Lt. General Gatwech Dual were unsuccessful.

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8 Comments. Leave new

  • Yes the fake peace agreement is already dead

  • Now Thomas has to bear the cost of refusing to joint hands with the Equatorian brothers and sisters in arms.
    The IO is part of the government and therefore have abide by the orders to defend the government otherwise they are party to the conflict.

  • I believe the surfaced news of SPL-IO’s distintegration is fake . SPLA//M /IO had been combating for almost 6 years without seeking any support from outsiders i.e NAS. And then in any military formation,it has strategies, signing peace is strategy not surrender for positions as the news agency had stated.

  • This articles is not true. No opposition side with govt to fight NAS it is totally untrue.

  • splm-io don’t be stupid

  • Kueth K.Matek
    February 4, 2019 4:03 am

    Unfortunately the drainage of the river flow is gearing the SPLAIO force into implementation of it’s rival and partner in peace policy of “divide and rule them” in pretexts of National defend, civilian lives and properties protection. Yet in the peace provisions no proper reparations mechanisms set in the agreement that can latter appease the victims of this conflicts. I appreciated your reaction general tell the leader where the movement goes wrong so that they will adjust their approach to ward the implementation of this peace with the government.

  • IO has been fighting With government and agreement signed between punish .if NAS is ready to fight against goverment IO will not support neither government or NAS only their peace process


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