Machar responds to Gatwech’s detention comment

Machar responds to Gatwech’s detention comment
The First Vice President, and chairman of SPLM/A-IO, Dr Riek Machar Teny. [Photo: Courtesy]

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) has rubbished the allegations by the Chairman of Kit Gwang Faction that the First Vice President, Riek Machar, is in detention in Juba.

Simon Gatwech Dual also claimed in a video circulating on social media that the Khartoum Peace Agreement was dragging because Machar is under ‘arrest’.

“My agreement is not yet implemented. The government wants it to drag for three years like that of (Riek Machar) who is in detention up to now in Juba,” Gatwech claimed.

But SPLA-IO Military Spokesperson Col Lam Paul Gabriel dismissed as “cheap talks”, adding that the spoke portrayed “lack of knowledge of the affairs of R-ARCSS.”

“Dr Machar is the FVP of the Republic of South Sudan. He can’t be a constitutional post holder with full immunity and at the same time be jailed publicly. This shows a clear lack of knowledge of what’s happening with R-ARCSS,” Col Lam stated.

He added that Gatwech and his forces should, instead, focus on the agreement he signed with the government of South Sudan in January 2022.

“The SPLA-IO urges Gatwech Dual to focus on their ‘defection agreement’ with SPLM-IG and leave Machar alone,” the SPLA-IO spokesperson stated.

Khartoum peace agreement—signed between the government and Gatwech — entailed the integration of SPLA-IO Kit Gwang forces into South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) within three months.

The three-month deadline for the integration of Kit Gwang forces into the SSPDF has since long been passed even without the assembling of the forces as stipulated in the agreement.

The First Vice President has been spotted in several public events around Juba, among them the commissioning of the Freedom Bridge, and most recently the burial of former Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, the late Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, on Monday, June 27.