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SPLA-IO Splinter Faction Top Leaders to Return to Juba after General Amnesty – Official

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Simon Gatwech Dual, Leader of the SPLA-IO breakaway faction

Leaders of the breakaway faction of South Sudan’s armed opposition movement (SPLM/A-IO) will only return to the capital, Juba when President Salva Kiir issues a general amnesty in compliance with the Khartoum peace agreement, an official said.

The SPLM/A breakaway Kit-Gwang faction led by Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual signed a peace agreement with Kiir’s government on January 16.

The Khartoum peace deal, among others, guarantees the implementation of the security arrangements, a permanent ceasefire, grants the Kit Gwang faction amnesty, containment, and reintegration of the breakaway SPLA-IO forces into the South Sudanese Peoples Defense Forces (SSPDF).

Last week, a delegation of the Agwelek forces division under the command of General Johnson Olony arrived in the South Sudanese capital to meet President Kiir and further discuss the recently signed peace agreement.

Paul Achut Nyibek, the head of the advance team representing Johnson Olony told Sudan Tribune on Thursday that preparations were in progress to make necessary arrangements to facilitate the coming of Gen. Olony.

“Up to now, things are moving. There are ongoing talks with the office of the president to make necessary arrangements. When these arrangements are completed, the president will issue a general amnesty as stipulated in the agreement [then] Gen. Johnson and other leaders will come,” he said.

“So, on our side, there is no problem.  General Johnson Olony is ready to come to Juba anytime. Especially after the general amnesty that was issued for all the Kit-Gwang forces. We are now here to prepare the way for him to return and General Simon Gatwech Dual.  If we implement what was agreed in the agreement, General Olony and the rest of the leadership will come soon to Juba”, he added.

However, a source in the office of the presidential adviser on security affairs separately told Sudan Tribune that President Kiiir had suggested that the two leaders come to Juba even before the process starts, but the generals indicated preference to stay away until a general amnesty is issued.

“They [Dual and Olony] are making the issue of general amnesty as a reason to continue to stay away. But they should know that His Excellency President Salva Kiir is committed to ending conflict and wants to stay in close contacts with General Simon Gatwec and General Johnson Olony. He has given them the assurance of their safety and a commitment to work together. This was why he sent all the heads of the security to go and negotiate with them”, the presidential aide told Sudan Tribune Thursday.

According to the aide, the office of president had directed presidential adviser on security affairs Tut Gatluak Manime to do necessary preparations and ensure that all the conflicting groups in Upper Nile State are involved.

“The president is very wise person. He wants this conflict in upper Nile to be address holistically. He wants presidential adviser to ensure all the parties to the conflict in Upper Nile, especially the Dinka and the Shilluk are brought together in a peace conference to discuss and find ways of resolving the disputes between them so that the communities to return to their normal way of living together peacefully,” further explained the source.

He added, “These are arrangements which need to first be put in place”.

Sudan Tribune has also learned that Kiir directed his adviser to ensure all houses occupied illegally in Malakal town and other towns be vacated and the rightful owners return to their homes. Another issue is the need to canton the Agwelek forces before they are reintegrated into the national army.

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