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UPPER NILE - 19 Apr 2022

Gen. Gatwech recalls his advance team as peace deal delays

An advance team of the SPLM/A-IO Kit-Gwang faction led by General Simon Gatwech has been recalled from Juba to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, the outfit’s leader said.

On 1 February 2022, a delegation of over 30 military officers of the SPLM/A-IO Kit-Gwang faction arrived in South Sudan's capital Juba to follow up on the implementation of the Khartoum Peace Agreement that was signed in early January 2022.  

The peace agreement, between President Salva Kiir's group and the SPLM/A-IO Kit-Gwang faction led by General Simon Gatwech, provided for the integration of Kit-Gwang forces into the national army, the South Sudan People's Defense Forces (SSPDF).

General Simon Gatwech Dual, head of the group, and General Johnson Olony, commander of the Agwelek forces, signed two separate agreements with Kiir’s faction.

The agreement also guarantees the implementation of the security arrangements, a permanent ceasefire, grants the Kit-Gwang faction amnesty, and reintegration of the breakaway SPLA-IO forces into the SSPDF within three months among others.

“I have written a letter to the South Sudan government to allow my advance team to come back to Khartoum because the three months deadline has elapsed… I wrote the letter on 17 April, so I am waiting for them to reply,” General Simon Gatwech, leader of the SPLM/A-IO Kit-Gwang faction, told Radio Tamazuj this morning.

He added, “I also wrote a letter to the government of Sudan as guarantors about the matter. So, I am waiting for them to reply… I will make comments on the peace deal status after a briefing by my advance team.”

According to General Gatwech, delays in the implementation of the peace agreement prompted him to recall his advance team from Juba to Khartoum for consultations.

“The members of the advance team are in Juba, they are doing nothing there, there is no peace being implemented,” Gatwech said. “I want my advance team to come to Khartoum so that they brief me on the peace agreement and then we agree on the way forward.”

General Gatwech further said he was not part of the unified command of the armed forces that was created by President Salva Kiir last week. However, General Gatwech reiterated his commitment to the peace agreement he signed with Kiir earlier this year.