By Bida Elly David
The government has slammed the Kitgwang faction and the Agwelek forces over continuous tension amongst themselves causing total insecurity in Upper Nile region especially in Malakal.
Information Minister and government spokesperson Michael Makuei Lueth called on Gen. Gatwech and Gen. Olony military camps to speedily cease hostilities and spare the lives of the innocent civilians.
The tension between the Agwelek and the Kitgwang movement has been one of the alarming tensions that seriously intensified after the SPLM-IG signed the Khartoum agreement with the SPLM/A-IO Kitgwang Declaration to end hostilities.
The duo movement that created hitches among themselves were in the umbrella of alliance as both couldn’t agree and decide wisely on their military strategies against their opponent movement.
The conflict between the former allied commanders of Kitgwang and Agwelek forces jeopardized and perished lives of many civilians in Upper Nile region.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Michael Makuei Lueth, the Information Minister and government’s spokesperson said the cabinet condemned the act of the duo oppositions and seriously urged them to compromise the lives of the citizens who die due to their negligence.
“His Excellency the President has raised the issue regarding the situation in Upper Nile, especially the tension between the people of Olony and Gatwech. After thorough discussion, the cabinet decided to condemn all that is happening over there and called upon all the parties to cease hostilities and come to their senses so that peace can prevail in South Sudan,” he said.
The information minister said the cabinet realized that this rebel issue was complex and passed it to the presidency for further consideration. “There is a lot of mess taking place over there,” he noted.
Makuei also stressed that the attempt of one of those conflicting parties to forge alliance with the National Salvation Front or NAS rebel of Thomas Cirilo was not the concern of the government since both were rebel groups and forces.
He underlined that the conflict between the two holdout parties was a clear indication of disrespecting the agreement formerly signed in Khartoum.
The SPLM/A-IO Kitgwang faction commander Gen. Simon Gatwech reportedly met with a visiting delegation of National Salvation Front or NAS rebel under General Thomas Cirilo in Khartoum.
According to Gen. Gatwech military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Alfred Gach Thot, the meeting between his boss and NAS chief of Staff-led delegation in Khartoum was centered on talks seeking to forge a military alliance between opposition groups.
“The visit came in response to the call that was made two weeks ago by the SPLM/A-IO leader to forge for the military cooperation of all oppositions,” Brig. Gen. Gach stated.
Makuei however, ruled that the government could not force them (rebels) to decide what rather to act upon their will if they loved peace for all South Sudanese.
“Well, all these are rebels, we have nothing much to say about it. Whether they ally or stay, they are all rebels after all and we have nothing to do with them,” he dismissed the alliance reports.
“For us if someone accepts to negotiate with us, we will negotiate but if he decides to go away, what can we do. If they decided not to respect the agreement, then we have nothing to do about it,” Makuei echoed.