SPLM-IO police chief demands IGAD allow Machar visit opposition headquarters

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The Inspector General of Police (IGP) for the main armed opposition group, SPLM/A (IO), General John Jock Gai, is asking the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) which mediated the revitalized peace agreement to allow SPLM-IO leader and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny visit the opposition headquarters for verification on the peace implementation.

The statement by the opposition’s top police officer comes weeks after opposition military chief General Simon Gatwech Dual demanded in a later to the regional bloc in September that it allow Machar to visit them for briefing on the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement which has seen setbacks since its signing.

Regional and international organizations including the United Nations Mission in South Sudan have reported that government forces – who are a party to the agreement and teh conflict – have not reported to training centres where opposition forces are already presence.

This has raised suspicion among the opposition military and in September, General Dual wrote to teh regional bloc, IGAD, to allow Machar visit them for verify as concerns group over continued attacks against their forces by government-allied forces threatening collapse of teh 2018 peace agreement.

In a statement today, SPLM/SPLA (IO) police chief General John Gai said he supports the call by General Dual to allow Machar visit them in the bush for briefing on the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement, saying he wonders why the regional body is reluctant to allow Machar visit them.

“I do hereby express my concern and second what SPLA-IO Chief of General Staff requested that our chairman and commander in Chief of the SPLM/A-IO &FVP Dr. Riek Machar Teny to come to where SPLA-IO forces are in order to brief us about what is going on in the Revitalized Peace Agreement,” the statement directed at the IGAD said.

“We the SPLA-IO forces do not know why the IGAD, AU and the TROIKA do not allow our chairman to visit us. If we are not part of that peace in Juba, we want the SPLA- IO forces to be clearly informed if there is new developments,” he said.

“It’s now about a year since the Revitalized Peace agreement was signed and we have seen the implementation stuck which signify a delay tactics and lack of political will from those who don’t want peace to be fully implemented in South Sudan.

“SPLA-IO forces are ready and on alert about things that are going on in Juba, since 2013 up to now, the SPLA-IO forces have been in the bush and have endured to stay ready together with the peace loving people of this Country and this cannot be altered by the love of money.

“We have learnt the attack that was carried out by the SSPDF against the SPLA-IO forces in Moroto training centre at Kajo-keji while its part of the peace agreement for all the warring forces to observe cease fire and gather the training Centers across the Country. The SPLA-IO wanted to know why the SSPDF attacked our forces at the training Centre?

“It has been stated clearly by SSPDF Spoke person Maj. Gen Lul Ruai Koang that the forces are different though they are in the same training centers. SPLA-IO forces is for peace and have stayed observing their part of ceasefire that was signed as part of the Revitalized Peace Agreement while SSPDF continue to attack SPLA-IO forces.

“We therefore call upon our Chairman and Commander in Chief H.E. First Vice President of Republic of South Sudan Dr. Riek Machar Teny to come and brief the SPLA-IO Forces. We are in full respect of Peace and our forces will always be ready to defend itself from any kind of attacks.”

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