An advance team of the Agwelek Division of the breakaway Kit-Gwang faction of the SPLM/SPLA-IO, which signed a deal with the SPLM-IG last Sunday, on Thursday afternoon arrived in Juba to meet President Salva Kiir.
The Agwelek Division under the command of Gen. Johnson Olony is part of the Kit-Gwang group led by former SPLA-IO Chief of Staff Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual.
Speaking to reporters on arrival at Juba International Airport, the head of Agwelek Division advance delegation, General Paul Achut Nyibek said the country has seen enough war and that peace should prevail.
“We want peace to prevail in this country, this is our main purpose, this is what we need,” Gen. Achut said. “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.”
He added, “I am here today, Johnson Olony will be here tomorrow, and Simon Gatwech will be here the next day, and all who belongs to this (Kit-Gwang) group will be here as soon as possible. We have to put our hands together so that we take this country to where we want to take it.”
For his part, Jokino Fidel, a member of the government delegation that signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA) between the SPLM-IG and Agwelek Forces, said the government agreed with the Kit-Gwang group on several issues including returning Shilluk land according to the colonial boundaries of 1956.
“We signed an agreement with them and that agreement is not far from the 2018 revitalized peace agreement. We agreed with them on so many things including the 2018 ceasefire,” Fidel said. “We are going to canton the (breakaway) SPLA-IO forces in Kit-Gwang and after their cantonment; they will be integrated into SSPDF.”
He added, “The Agwelek, in particular, were fighting for the land and we agreed with them as was agreed in the 2018 revitalized peace agreement that internal boundaries of South Sudanese tribes will be based on the 1 January 1956 boundaries.”
Fidel said the Agwelek Division was fighting for ancestral land, not political positions.
John Opec Akokjak, an elder representing the Agwelek Division, said years of conflict with the government has not benefited the Chollo community and that peace was a solution to the crisis.
“We as the elders of Shilluk are not benefiting anything from the war and our leader, Johnson Olony, has been for peace from the beginning,” Elder Opec said. “His (Olony’s) struggle was not organized because of marginalization of a section of a tribe but he was fighting for genuine peace. We were waiting for a genuine peace, which we have now come for.”