By William Madouk
General Dickson Gatluak Jock, the leader of the breakaway South Sudan United Front/Army-Nairobi Declaration [SSUF/A-ND], will arrive in Juba in two weeks’ time for peace talks.
He is expected to jet in Juba with his top 15-member delegation, comprising both political and military wing, to interact with senior government officials to consolidate the “homegrown’ peace initiative.
General Gatluak is another top renegade leader to join President Salva Kiir in Juba, after Gen. Johnson Olony, the commander of Agwelek forces.
SSUF/A-ND spokesperson Col. Philip Deng Kuol said his boss will arrive in the capital soon, for a short visit after meeting with the government delegation in Nairobi.
“The SSUF/A high-level delegation led by the chairman, Gen. Dickson Gatluak Jock Nyuot, will arrive in the capital, Juba, in two weeks for a short visit,” Kuol said in a statement seen by this outlet.
“The visit will purposely give room to the entire team led by the chairman to meet with the government dignitaries.”
According to Kuol, the slated meeting would boost relations and build confidence with the government before they went back to base for actual peace implementation.
The move is pursuant to the “homegrown” initiative proposed by breakaway SSUF/A to have peace talks with the government, he said.
“This visit does not shut the doors to dialogue with the regime at an unspecified date and venue.”
After sealing the deal, General Gatluak’s forces could be integrated into the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces.
However, the negotiation date has yet to be declared, according to the military spokesman.
However, the No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper’s effort to get confirmation from the minister of information and government spokesperson, Michael Makuei, was futile by press time.
In March 2023, the South Sudan United Front/Army-Nairobi Declaration prepared a negotiation team ahead of planned peace talks with the government.
The thirteen-member team will hold peace talks with Kiir’s administration to reach a deal through the “home-grown peace initiative’.
Lt-Gen Charles Uchalla Muong was appointed as the chief negotiator, and Nhial DoJiok Doap was appointed as the assistant chief negotiator.
In January last year, a group of dissident generals and senior members of SSUFA/A, dubbed the ‘Nairobi Declaration,” ousted Paul Malong Awan, citing readiness for a peace talk with Kiir’s administration.
But Gen. Awan kicked out the renegade generals and accused them of ‘betrayal and conspiracy to weaken the party’; hitherto, Gen. Gatluak defied the order, stating he could not be dismissed.
That led Awan to suffer severely as his own movement, SSUF/A, split into two factions, with a new breakaway dubbed SSUFA-Nairobi led by Gen. Dickson Gatluak.