South Sudan

Machar Generals Gatwech, Koang not dead-spokesman


Reports circulated on social media last evening saying SPLA troops loyal to president Salva Kiir had eliminated first vice president Riek Machar’s top Generals.

SPLA soldiers last night, fired sporadically in the air, minutes after their Chief of Staff Gen Paul Malong had ordered them back into the barracks.

According to James Gatdet Dak, Machar’s spokesman, the soldiers were “celebrating a lie that President Salva Kiir’s forces had killed SPLA-IO’s top Generals including Chief of General Staff, General Simon Gatwech Dual, and Deputy Chief of General Staff for Administration and Finance, General James Koang Chuol Ranley.”

“This is a white lie! They are very safe, protected by their gallant forces.”

He added: “I wonder what will these celebrators say when they will soon see the two Generals.”

Dak said the development shows how “delusional and ill-informed are those anti-peace forces”.

“How could an institutional army depend on a mere lie as a source of decision-making. Disgusting!”

Last evening, Kiir and Machar both declared a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities after calls from regional bodies and the international community.

Fighting in the capital Juba claimed the lives of 272 soldiers on Friday alone.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Kiir said the August peace agreement was not made to be implemented.

On his part, Machar said Kiir was not committed to implementing the peace agreement.

Meanwhile, Juba international airport is expected to resume operations today.

Kenya Airways had suspended flights due to insecurity.

Countries including Japan and USA had already started evacuating nationals from the volatile capital Juba.

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