By William Madouk Garang
President Salva Kiir has reiterated his call to the commander of Agwelek forces, Gen Johnson Olony to return to capital Juba in a bid to work collectively in implementing the Khartoum peace deal.
On Wednesday, advance team of the Agwelek, a faction under the command of Gen. Johnson Olony met with President Kiir to discuss the issues of insecurities in Upper Nile State particularly Malakal.
The SPLM/A-IO loyal to Dr. Riek Machar accused forces allied to Johnson Olony of attacking their forces. However, the latter denied and pointed finger at Kitgwang forces.
Agwelek under Olony and the Kit-Gwang faction group allied to Gatwech have also been clashing in Panyikang and Tunga counties which raised a lot of insecurity in the town.
According to UN Agency, the new clashes between armed factions in Tunga and neighboring Panyikang County in Upper Nile state have displaced at least 27,000 people.
The agency also said some 100 people sought sanctuary at Malakal Protection of Civilians Site, with more people fleeing to locations in Fangak County in Jonglei State.
During the meeting, President Kiir expressed concerns about the insecurities in Malakal town caused by the fighting of forces allied to Gen. Simon Gatwech and those affiliated to Gen. Johnson Olony in Upper Nile State.
“President Kiir said General Johnson Olony should come to Juba and work collectively to implement the agreement if there are difficulties,” the statement posted on the Presidential Facebook page read.
Mr. President said, he would address them together as a team and find ways to move forward, he further called on the two factions to cease from all violence.
“The President further said he will convene a Presidency meeting to discuss the insecurity situation in Upper Nile,” the statement added.
For his part, the Agwelek team leader said they discussed about the status of execution of Khartoum agreement and called on government to expedite incorporation of the forces into national army.
“The advance team talked about the status of the implementation of Khartoum Peace Agreement, between SPLM-IG and the SPLM-IO Kit-Gwang group led by Gen. Simon Gatwech, that talks about the integration of Kit-Gwang forces into the national army, the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF),”
The meeting also touched on the issue of flooding that has affected the local population in some parts of Upper Nile region.
The Kitgwang and Agwelek delegations had singed peace agreement separately in mid-January 2022, with the SPML-IG, which says 2018 permanent ceasefire should be maintained.
The agreement also called for establishment of coordination offices in and out of Malakal to enable the integration of the forces into SSPDF, and SSPDF would provide necessary logistics
But the government has not lived up to its promises in implementing the Khartoum agreement they had signed.