South Sudan’s most famous and powerful major generals; Peter Gatdet Yak and Gathoth Gatkuoth, Tuesday announced in the Sudan capital Khartoum, that they had lost confidence in rebel chief, Riek Machar.
The generals want Dr. Riek Machar Teny and President Salva Kiir Mayardit excluded from the IGAD peace talks saying they are serving their personal interests and not the interests of South Sudanese.
This is why the broke away from Machar
Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet Yaka says the war has taken nearly two years without reaching any conclusive compromises or shown any adherent to earlier agreements while the citizens continue to suffer as war escalates.
The conflict in South Sudan erupted in Juba on the 15th of December 2013 after Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of staging a coup de’tat which was foiled by presidential guards under the command of Marial Chanuong, the commander of the Presidential Guard.
While IGAD and IGAD PLUS continue to exert tireless and tremendous efforts to mediate peace talks between the warring parties, fighting is spreading and innocent lives continue to be lost and humanitarian work is being hampered by both parties to the conflict, argues Gatdet.
He says despite the signing of Cessation of Hostilities (COH) by both parties, the COH continues to be violated with untold devastation of lives and property.
In a July 7th, 2015 letter on Proposed Compromise Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, the generals reject a peace agreement that includes President Kiir and Machar in the leadership of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU).
“The two leaders have become symbols of hate and conflict and are obstacles to peace as both leaders wrangle over who should lead,” they write.
As a result, the two communities of Nuer and Dinka have become so polarized and divided to the extent that one community will reject the leadership of the other.
Machar camp split
Gatdet and Gatkuoth say Machar just makes decisions without consulting the generals at the front-line.
They cite an example where Machar and Gen. Taban Deng Gai (his brother-in-law) refused to hand over the office of logistics.
Seconldy, Machar has already accepted to work with Kiir as his Vice President in the Transitional Government of National Unity saying the the duo has become symbols of hate, division and failed leadership.
Both leaders were responsible for igniting the current crisis hence the transition should be led by “south Sudanese who have the country at heart”.
Gatdet who the Deputy Chief of General Staff for Operation in SPLA-IO blames the Chief of General Staff for SPLA in Opposition, Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, for refusing to sign documents they submitted to IGAD-plus mediators.
Gatdet says it’s only fair that all sons and daughters of South Sudan should be allowed to lead during the transitional period and both President Kiir and Dr. Riek should wait for the next coming elections and contest for the presidency if they so desire.
“If this should not be the case then we suggest that a military led Transitional government comprising officers from both parties be formed until next elections are conducted.”
Dismissing the SPLM re-unification agreement, signed by President Kiir and Machar in Arusha, Tanzania on 21th January 2015, the generals say this reunification confirms a return to status quo that plunged the country to the current civil war triggered off by Juba December 2013 massacres.
“It takes the country back to the dictatorial rule of SPLM as witnessed from 2005 up to date. This means that there will be no political space for other political actors in South Sudan.”
The general call for a regime change through election proposing that both Dr. Machar and Mr. Kiir must give ways for the generals to reorganize the country until the next elections.
“Our objective is to bring about a regime change through elections in South Sudan in order to bring a sustainable peace and development to our people. We therefore appeal to all people of South Sudan, all political parties, regional leaders and international community to support us in this political move.”
Gatdet asked the gallant forces and the deadly Nuer White Army to remain united wherever they are in areas of control and repulse any aggressors.
Gen. Gatdet also calls on all the political forces to join him and restore the nation from collapse.
“Together we can bring back our nation from the brink of collapse.”
Meanwhile, in a parallel statement, Machar said the generals defected from the movement and claims on his office as chairman of the opposition are null and void.