The government of South Sudan has met with Simon Gatwech Dual, leader of a breakaway faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-in opposition (SPLM/A-IO) to start negotiations aimed at ending hostilities.
The rebel delegation also included the group’s deputy chairman, General Johnson Olony. The meeting was held in the wake of the recent meeting between Dual, Johnson Olony and President Salva Kiir’s advisor on national security Tut Gatluak in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
“I am for peace 100 percent, since the delegation of South Sudan’s government arrived in Sudan and met us, I accept to negotiate peace with the government and my team is ready to negotiate with the government,” said Gatwech during Saturday’s meeting with South Sudanese officials in Khartoum
Meanwhile, Olony who is part of the SPLM/A-IO breakaway faction reiterated the group’s readiness to engage peacefully with the government.
On August 4, the breakaway SPLM/A-IO faction led by First Vice President Riek Machar’s former chief of staff Dual issued a declaration deposing the latter as party chairman.
Dual’s group accused Machar of not pushing President Kiir enough to implement the security arrangement that includes training and graduation of the 83,000 unified forces.
Several opposition fighters have been deserting cantonment and training sites, due to poor living conditions that include lack of medicine, clean water, shelter and food.
Dual’s group has since clashed twice with Machar’s troops in the Magenis area in Upper Nile state leaving many soldiers from both sides dead.
Gatluak disclosed that Sudanese officials are mediating talks with the renegade SPLM/A-IO military officers.
“We came to you to tell you (Dual) the message of peace from the president, we don’t want war but we need peace in our country. Our people have been suffering a lot and we need peace and stability we came here to tell you we are ready for peace,” said Gatluak. Enditem