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Kit-Gwang forces to be merged into SSPDF in 3 months – Kalany

By William Madouk Garang

The press secretary in the office of Simon Gatwech Daul, James Kalany Mamuon has said that SPLA-IO Kit-Gwang forces under Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual would be merged into Sudan People Defense Force (SSPDF) within the next three months.

Mr. Mamuon said that a joint Military Technical Team would soon be formed to help in assembling the Kit-Gwang forces in one place before they would be reintegrated into SSPDF as one national army.

The peace deal signed by the three generals and President Kiir’s Security Advisor, Tut Gatluak stated that the Kit-Gwang troops would receive food and medical supplies from the government via Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF).

It also provided for respect of ceasefire, integration of breakaway Kit-Gwang forces into SSPDF and allocation of political positions, pending negotiation.

In an exclusive interview with Juba Monitor in Khartoum, Mr. Mamuon media aide in the office of Gatwech said the forces would be assembled in one place to receive necessary logistics before they would be merged to SSPDF in the upcoming three months. 

 “Gen. Gatwech will be soon, we don’t have any condition for his return to Juba. The advance team is in preparation for his return and [for] the follow-up agreement as well,” Mamuon said.

 “Our military advance teams had already landed in Juba to follow up the agreement, the next [move] is to assembly the forces. Before they will be re-integrate into SSPDF after three months,” he added.

He also called on the people of South Sudan to embrace peace, adding that anyone who wanted the presidency seat should come through the election and not through violence.

“Our country needs development, roads, schools and the best hospitals in the region. We must do that only if we silence guns,” he stressed.

On Saturday last week, General Simon Gatwech Dual, the leader of SPLA-IO splinter group Kit-Gwang faction had returned to Upper Nile, Magenis area to preach peace content to his forces.

Gen. Gatwech has been in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum since January for a peace talk with Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-government (SPLM-IG) which sprouted into the signing of the Peace Agreement with the government. 

After, Khartoum Agreement has reached the First Vice President; Dr. Riek Machar Teny conceded and welcomed the unexpected joining forces by his partner-in-peace SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO Kit-Gwang group.

Though SPLM-IO accused SPLM-IG of orchestrating the defection of Kit-Gwang, they said it would not have any negative impact on the 2018 revitalized peace agreement but warned the splinter group that any further attack on SPLM-IO’s forces is a red line.

A day after deal was sealed in Khartoum; President Salva Kiir Mayardit issued a Republican decree pardoning Agwelek and Kit-Gwang breakaway group which shifted allegiance to his camp.

In August 2021, the Kit-Gwang group announced Dr. Machar’s ouster – claiming he no longer represented the interests of the group.

There had been a report of deadly fighting between their forces and those loyal to Dr. Machar in the Magenis area in Upper Nile State where the group is based.

On January 21st, President Salva Kiir directed for immediate integration of the armed opposition (SPLM/A-IO) breakaway group, led by Gen Simon Gatwech Daul.

Tut Gatluak Manime said the South Sudanese leader directed the government and all organized forces to prepare and enlighten their units to accept the integration of forces loyal to Gatwech and his deputy, Johnson Olony.

Meanwhile, an advance team of the SPLM/A-IO (Kit-Gwang faction) led by General Paul Achut Nyibek arrived in the South Sudan capital on 21st January and said that the country had witnessed enough war and the peace must be given a chance.

Nyibek cited that “We want peace to prevail in this country, this is our main purpose, this is what we need,” Adding that, “This country cannot take any more war; we have to agree that enough is enough, we have killed ourselves enough. So, when peace comes nobody can stop it.”

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