8th June 2023
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CEPO faults Juba’s silence on “atrocious” Gatwech-Olony war

Author: Staff Writter | Published: Sunday, September 11, 2022

Lt. General Simon Gatwech Dual (left) and his former comrade Lt. General Johnson Olony first defected from the SPLM-IO under Dr. Riek Machar before falling apart again in the middle of 2022. | Photo: Courtesy.

Advocacy organization CEPO criticized the national government over its silence on Upper Nile fighting, and appealed for regional and international intervention in the factional conflict between Kitgwang generals, Simon Gatwech and Johnson Olony.

The Executive Director Edmund Yakani said the ongoing armed violence between the SPLA-IO defectors in some parts of Upper Nile state is getting dangerous and worse.

“The fighting of the Gatwech-Olony forces are absolutely deadly and targeting civilian’s population. (We) strongly condemned the act of the two general rivaling generals of Kitwang Declaration,” reads part of a press statement released on the weekend.

Yakani blamed the unity government in Juba for allegedly keeping quiet on the issue.

“Silence about the atrocities committed by their forces against civil population is not an option and Juba leadership should not maintain silence about the Gatwech and Olony war.”

Renewed fighting between SPLM-IO Kitgwang factions led by General Simon Gatwech and General Johnson Olony in Upper Nile State and northern Jonglei State has displaced tens of thousands since July.

General Gatwech Dual and his former comrade General Olony first defected from the SPLM-IO under Dr. Riek Machar before falling apart again in the middle of 2022.

The latest incident was on September 7th, when armed men allegedly attacked Adidiang Payam, 40 kilometers South of the state capital, Malakal, killing 17 civilians and displacing up to 5,000 people, according to authorities.

Civilians were reported drowned while fleeing the attackers allegedly identified as armed youth from the neighboring counties, Panyikang Commissioner Mustafa Gai told Eye Radio.

Following the incident, United Nations Mission in South Sudan said it deployed troops in Adidiang island to rescue civilians fleeing violence.

In a press statement on Sunday, CEPO’s Director Edmund Yakani CEPO called upon the ceasefire-monitoring body CTSAM-VM as well as regional and international peace guarantors to “urgently” investigate the flareup of violence before it escalates further.

Yakani said the “gun class society of South Sudan is turning to be a serious curse against civil population” and stressed further that the fighting undermines the struggle for peace and stability in the country.

“It is time to name the sponsors of the Gatwech-Olony War. Urgent intervention from the IGAD, AU and UN is required on the growing genocidal fight between Gatwech-Olony forces in some parts of Upper Nile State.”






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