JUBA, JANUARY 8TH 2023 (THEJUBAMIRROR NEWS ) – The leader of the breakaway SPLM-IO Kitgwang faction General Simon Gatwech Dual has said that one of his top allies, a senior military commander, who was in South Sudan’s capital Juba as part of an advance team has died and blamed the government for allegedly denying him medical assistance.
In a statement extended to Thejubamirror news Desk , Gatwech said Maj. Gen. Gatjang Tap Jichdhok died on Friday in Juba after having tried to leave the country to seek treatment in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, but was denied travel by government security agencies who Gatwech also blamed for containing the whole SPLM-IO Kitgwang faction advance team.
“The leadership of the SPLM/A-IO Kitgwang is deeply grieved to learn of the sudden death of Major Gen Gatjang Tap Jichdhok which occur in Juba on Friday, 6th January 2023 at around 4:00 AM South Sudan local time,” Gen. Gatwech said in the statement released today, January 8th 2023.
“Gen. Gatjang Tap was among the senior officers sent to Juba as a part of SPLM/A-10 Kitgwang advance team in January 2022 following the signing of the KPA between the SPLM/A-10 Kitgwang and the government in Juba,” the controversial opposition commander further added.
Gatwech described his ally’s death “As part of government strategy to dismantle the peace accord, the members of the SPLM/A- 10 Kitgwang advance team were kept and contained in Juba without access to medical attention since January 2022 despite the repeated calls from the leadership of SPLM-IO Kitgwang to have their advance team being allowed to return to the General Headquarter for further briefing.”
“On behalf of the SPLM/A-10 Kitgwang, we would like to convey our deepest condolence to his family and pay our revolutionary respect on the tragedy that has taken this fine comrade from his family and his colleagues in the struggle.”
Gatwech signed a peace deal with the government of President Salva Kiir in January last year. The agreement which was signed in the Sudanese capital Khartoum provides for integration of General Gatwech’s forces into the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) with in a period not exceeding three months.
But then disagreements within Gatwech’s group resulted in splits among the opposition group’s rank and the former SPLA-IO Chief of Staff blamed the government of using divide and rule policy to weaken the opposition and drag feet on the implementation of the Khartoum Peace Agreement which appears to be dishonored.