Olony accepts Kiir’s call to Juba, set terms before return
The leader of Agwelek forces, Gen. Johnson Olony, has accepted President Salva Kiir’s call to return to Juba and participate in the peace process.
Dr. Paul Achot Achobek, head of the Agwelek delegation in Juba, told The City Review that the delay in Olony’s coming to Juba was related to his efforts to ensure the government controls the border between South Sudan and Sudan that serves as a lifeline for opposition groups.
“Yes, he has accepted the President’s call.” He was supposed to be in Juba many months ago, but the delay was from the government, “he stated.
“What’s going on now in Panyikang County is for the control of the border between South Sudan and Sudan to block a lifeline route for the opposition groups that seek regime change.” Gen. Olony wants our national government to take control of these borders prior to his coming to Juba. “
However, the spokesperson of the SPLM/A-IO Kitgwang faction, Alfred Gach Thot, claimed that there were no more hostilities between them and the forces of Olony.
“There [are no hostilities] between the two forces (SPLA-IO Kitgwang Declaration and Agwelek Division). “Our Chairman and C-in-C Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual ordered his forces not to carry out an offensive unless through self-defence,” Gach stated.
On Wednesday, President Salva Kiir urged Johnson Olony to return to the country following his meeting with the Agwelek advanced team.
Kiir promised to convene a meeting of the presidency to discuss brewing insecurity in the Upper Nile region.
On September 9, 2022, The City Review reported that the death toll following clashes at Adhidhiang Island IDP Camp, located 40 kilometres south of Malakal, between Kitgwang and Agwelek forces, had risen to 17 people.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) called upon the attackers to end the conflict and stop harming civilians and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
The mission urged the government to take swift measures to address the situation and ensure maximum protection of civilians.
The UN peacekeepers were deployed in the area to protect the population.
Agwelek forces and Kitgwang forces are signatories to Khartoum Peace Agreement, signed in the Khartoum Peace Agreement.
After the signing of the agreement on January 16, 2022, Kiir granted amnesty to both Kitgwang and Agwelek forces. He told them to ask for forgiveness from the South Sudanese for their “wrongdoing.”
The agreement entailed the relocation of Kitgwang and Agwelek forces from the Northern Upper Nile after integration, but this action has not taken effect so far.
In January 2022, Dr. Paul Achot Achobek revealed that Gen. Johnson Olony would visit the capital at the soonest time possible, upon their return to the capital, but Olony’s return kept on dragging.
“We are [in Juba] for the implementation of the agreement that we have signed. We are serious about this; the agreement has to be implemented. That is why we are here,” Achut said.
“Upper Nile State has suffered enough [and] all its citizens are scattered, and we, the sons and daughters of Upper Nile State, have resolved that enough is enough; we don’t want more war,” he added.
It was alleged that Olony’s agenda was the division of Chollo land into two, following the creation of 32 states. This was later not addressed when the country returned to 10 states, as highlighted in the Khartoum Peace Agreement document, partly signed by the Director General of Internal Security Bureau, Gen Akol Koor Kuc, and Gen Johnson Olony on behalf of Agwelek forces.
The agreement stated that returning the land boundaries of Chollo land to 1/1/1956, was said to have been the principal cause of the conflict in Upper Nile State.
Early this month, the two-armed groups expressed a desire for the intervention of the government to end differences between them.