Rebel chief, Riek Machar, has summoned Generals Gathoth Gatkuoth and Peter Gatdet Yak to report to Pagak rebel headquarters.
The generals who are currently in the Sudan capital Khartoum announced they had abandoned and denounced Machar’s leadership due to his links with President Salva Kiir.
SPLM in Opposition officials told Eye radio it had sent a team to Khartoum to convince Major Peter Gatdet and other generals to return to their headquarters in Pagak under the leadership of Dr Riek Machar.
In a statement, the deputy military spokesman of the SPLM in Opposition, Dickson Gatluak, said Gatdet’s declaration was written by politicians who want to spoil chances for a peace agreement this month.
Gatdet has already been joined by politicians to form a new rebel group outside Machar’s outfit.
Machar’s loyal Generals meet
69 SPLA -IO generals still loyal to Machar convened a meeting to condemn the move taken by the two generals.
The pair reportedly has a track record in the history of South Sudan struggle for changing sides numerous times.
It is alleged General Gatdet changed sides 19 times while General Gat-hoth changed sides 11 times.
“Our generals including Chief of Staff, Simon Gatwech Dual, assured the people of South Sudan that nothing will change the structure and principle of the movement because of two generals who defected without bodyguards,” said Tut Makuac Luotkoway, SPLM Secretary Diaspora.
A statement was read in the high command meeting that Dr. Machar was elected by the leaders and civil organizations.
“You cannot sit under Amarat in Khartoum and pronounce that I have removed the chairman. That means you are fooling yourself and committing treasonable offense to the movement which is punishable by death penalty,” Tut says.
In the course of the war, General Gatkuoth commanded fighters who annihilated over 15,000 thousand Gelweng and General Gatdet contained all Dinka in Bentiu, he recalled.
“If they forgot that because of their emotional attitudes. We cannot deny that they are fearless generals, but we do know that they like to kill without intention to win the war. That’s why they failed Nuer in 1991 war.”
It is also believed Gen. Gatdet and Gen. Gat-hoth Gatkuoth have signed a new deal with Paul Malong.
“There is no difference between their defection and that of Brig. Lul Ruai Koang’s,” concluded Tut.
Jikany Nuer community disowns rebel defectors
In another press statement on Wednesday, the Jikany section of the ethnic Nuer community denounced the defectors saying they were ‘not surprised by the development, because Gathoth Gatkuoth and Changson Lew defected from Machar’s Movement in 1997 […] when he defected from South Sudan Independent Movement (SSIM) to the Thuara-Jikany Movement’.
According to Radio Tamazuj, they stressed that this move led to the loss of 500 lives of Jikany-Nuer youth.
‘Because of General Gatoth’s self-interest together with General Chuol Gake.’
The community’s leadership declared its intention to not follow any leaders who put their personal interests over the common interests, and to stand up against Jikany-Nuer who want to divide the entire Nuer community for their self-interest.