I didn’t plan to kill Stephen Buay, says Gatluak

I didn’t plan to kill Stephen Buay, says Gatluak
Tut Gatluak Manime, the presidential advisor on national security addressing the senior military officers and heads of the security mechanism speaks at SSPDF headquarters Bilpham on Friday. [Keji Janefer, City Review]

Tut Gatluak, Presidential Advisor on Security Affairs [Photo: Courtesy]

The Presidential Advisor on Security Affairs, Tut Gatluak, denied allegations that he had planned to assassinate Gen. Stephen Buay Rolnyang in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday.

Gen. Buay, who is the leader of the South Sudan People’s Movement/Army, alleged on Monday that Mr Gatluak had planned to kill him using some of the security personnel attached to the National Security Service.

In a statement sent to The City Review on Monday, Gatluak dismissed the allegations, terming them “baseless and unfounded.”

Buay alleged that that Mr Gatluak had sent someone in the name of John Nyerew to carry out assassination plans. However, Gatluak denied ever meeting Nyerew in a face-to-face discussion to discuss such.

“On 15/5/2024, rebel leader Stephen Buay said that I sent a team of security agents to Nairobi with the mission to hunt him down and assassinate him in Nairobi. Why would I do that?” he posed.

 “I condemn this statement in the strongest terms possible. These accusations are baseless; he only wants to tarnish my reputation. Buay said I sent John Nyerew, a person whom we never had conversations [with] in one place. All he said are not true!” Tut stated.

Gatluak stressed that Gen. Buay should not accuse him of planning his assassination if he is unwilling to take part in the Nairobi peace negotiations.

“If Stephen Buay is unwilling to participate in the peace process to bring a lasting peace for all South Sudanese, let him not do it in the name of a security advisor.  Hon. Tut Gatluak has no intention to target Stephen Buay and it was not the mission of the government to send a delegation to Nairobi, the government is interested in bringing permanent peace,” he stated.

He added, “I can never be the reason to deteriorate the peace negotiation that can bring the people of South Sudan together again since I have been tasked by President Kiir to monitor the peace implementation process in the country.”

Buay announced his withdrawal from the Nairobi talks, alleging his life was under threat.  

In his letter, he alleged that the South Sudanese security personnel were planning his assassination and that the Nairobi peace talks no longer served their purpose and requested an immediate evacuation.

“Yesterday, on May 19, 2024, John Top Nyerew, the one whom Tut Gatluak sent, came in person looking for me in the hotel and found me sitting with my two officers eating supper. He came and greeted me and sat near me because we had known each other. He started talking by himself without even being asked to do so and explained that he was sent by Tut in 2022 to look for me in Addis Ababa to assassinate me,” he claimed.

He further alleged that “considering the above security concerns, Juba is not ready for any peace talks; their objective is to lure the opposition to Kenya and assassinate them one by one.”

However, the Executive Director of the Centre for Peace and Advocacy, Ter Manyang, urged the government of Kenya to provide maximum protection for opposition leaders during the peace talks in Nairobi, Kenya.

According to Manyang, the Kenyan security personnel, who apprehended the NSS secret agent at the Ole-Sereni Hotel in Nairobi, revealed that he claimed to have been sent by the Presidential Security Advisor.

He urged the government of Kenya to learn from the previous cases of the late Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idris, whose disappearances in Kenya tarnished the prior administration’s human rights record.

Manyang also called on the government of South Sudan to investigate this serious incident to regain the trust of its citizens, the region, and the international community, all concerned about human rights abuses in the country.