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Gen. Gatwech calls for united opposition front against Kiir

JUBA – South Sudan opposition commander and leader of the breakaway SPLM/A-IO Kitgwang faction General Simon Gatwech Dual has said that the world’s youngest country is not ready for elections and peace under President Salva Kiir Mayardit and appealed to all opposition groups to form a united front against the president’s government.
Gatwech who broke away from First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny in August last year signed a peace agreement with Kiir in January this year, but the agreement which provides for integration of his forces into South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) has not however been implemented with him accusing Kiir’s government of reluctance.

In a statement extended to Sudans Post today, Gatwech said there is need for the various opposition groups in the country to form a united front against the government in Juba, the same call he made last year was disrupted by disagreements between him and General Johnson Olony who had said he didn’t want war to be fought in Shilluk Kingdom.

“For we all know that national security interest and stability of South Sudan is above individuals’ political bargaining and affiliation, our call for unity of all oppositions groups who are resisting the government in Juba is hereby renewed,” Gatwech said in the strong-worded statement.

“This is the same call the SPLM/A-IO of Kitgwang Declaration made last year, but was halted due to internal opposition within the ranks and the leadership of the Kitgwang Declaration. The national change we are calling for can only be achieved when all concerned South Sudanese in their individual and collective forms have united in their effort for a better and stable nation,” the statement said.

He called on “all opposition groups to join us in this long journey of reclaiming back our God-given rights and human dignity. The call for fixing South Sudan within the framework of regional and continental political and social chaos is well beyond the ability of one political actor.”

“We will be working with our regional authorities in furthering and help in bringing the hold-out opposition groups to a political forum for them to forge an opposition umbrella which will work out a political model that can resolve the conflict for the mutual interest of every South Sudanese citizens,” the opposition commander added.

Gatwech said South Sudan under President Kiir cannot conduct elections as it continue to lack international standards which he said have been intentionally withheld by the government to avoid elections which he said the government would lose.

“By all accounts, according to the normal procedures recognized internationally, South Sudan under the leadership of Salva Kiir is not ready to conduct free and fair elections. All the prerequisites required for credible free & fair elections are not yet put in place,” Gatwech said.

“On the top of these requirements, security and the rule of law, population census, and freedom of speech, transportation, infrastructures, and equipment needed for credible elections are at the zero level at the moment,” he added.

Via Sudans Post





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