Africa-Press – South-Sudan. South Sudan’s main armed opposition SPLA-IO Kitgwang faction’s leader General Simon Gatwech Dual has said that most of the statements issued by people he didn’t name on his behalf are fueling the divisions within the main armed opposition groups saying most of those statements are made without his prior approval.
“Let me tell you this, I only make interviews with [Radio] Tamazuj and your media (Sudans Post) and no other media has spoken to me since we announced the Kitgwang declaration. So, I don’t see why some people will take statements from some comrades as mine and this is what is wrong with the media,” General Gatwech told Sudans Post’s Nancy Abdurrahman this morning in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.
“I don’t recommend that media houses take statements from any SPLA-IO officer or official because we are in a stage that anyone within the SPLA-IO [Kitgwang Declaration] is making statements to make it look that I authorize that, but these statements are the one that has made a lot of problems within the SPLM/SPLA (IO),” Gatwech said.
Gatwech defected from the SPLM-IO led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny in August this year after a failed attempt to remove Machar as leader of the main armed opposition group. He went to form a faction of his own and declared that he was ready to talk with the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit of having accused Machar of surrendering to the president.
Since the declaration of the attempt to oust Machar, senior opposition officials, including former SPLA-IO spokesman Brig. Gen. William Gatjiath Deng, General Johnson Olony Thabo, have been making statements that are seen as escalatory remarks on the SPLM-IO split.
Gatwech said “those statements are fueling the problem within the SPLM-IO, and are inflammatory and therefore I urge the media to take statements from me and I also urge other comrades within the SPLM/SPLA-IO to stop making those statements because they are making out personality bad.”
“I am not happy because they are making inflammatory statements without my approval and in my name.”