General Gathoth Gatkuoth, a former rebel commander who switched allegiance from the armed opposition of the Sudan People’s Liberation in Opposition (SPLM-IO), under the leadership of the First Vice-President, Riek Machar, has written a letter asking President Salva Kiir to intervene over alleged killings of officers and men loyal to him by forces under the command of Machar.
“Your Excellency it is with dismay and great concern that I am writing this letter at this time of peace to highlight the torture and killing of 9 officers and men,” said General Gatkuoth.
“The victims were assembled in Buoth in Blue Nile through a secret agreement with Khartoum and ordered to attack SPLM-North in return for uniforms and weapons. When these officers and men rejected the order, they were detained and accused of being supporters of Federal Democratic Party (FDP) under the chairmanship of General Gathoth Gatkuoth in Juba. They were then tortured and eventually killed in cold blood,” partly reads the 9 May, 2016 letter extended to Sudan Tribune.
The barbaric act of extra-judicial killings of officers and men in cold blood, according to General Gatkuoth, were carried out on 1 May, 2016, by officers of the SPLA-IO in Upper Nile state.
“I strongly condemn these senseless killings, torture and intimidation currently being carried out under the command of SPLM/A-IO in the areas under their control. These tortures and execution may trigger another conflict among Nuer clans if not stopped. The first vice president should take command and control of his forces to avoid further bloodshed among Nuer people and other South Sudanese. We don’t want this to happen. We must embrace peace,” said General Gatkuoth, whose group returned to Juba without a proper agreement with the government of President Kiir.
The former top rebel commander identified the victims of the cold blood murder as Stephen Mabil Lul from Nasir, Chubath Tongyiek from Nasir, Gony Bichok Wiu from Nasir, Gadet Yak Chuol from Nasir, Gatluak Guin Nyangong Goding from Nasir and Thayan from Chie-Wang section in Nasir.
The other two officers who have been executed have not yet been identified though they are believed to be from Bentiu.