By William Madouk Garang
Kitgwang Declaration and the National Salvation Front (NAS) have distanced themselves from a joint military command structure by General Stephen Buay Rolnyang, citing that it is Gen. Buay’s own proposal and they have not taken part in developing it.
Gen Buay, the Chairman of South Sudan People’s Movement/Army (SSPLM/A), whose rebel group mainly operates in Unity State, proposed unified fronts in Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal regions against Kiir’s administration.
Gen. Buay’s proposal in October 19 letter which was copied to three rebel leaders saw Gen. Paul Malong Awan as the Commander in Charge of united rebel forces and deputized by Gen. Thomas Cirilo Swaka.
While Gen Simon Gatwech was designated as Chief of General Staff of united forces and deputized by Gen Stephen Buay Rolnyang in a joint military high command council (JMHCC) structure.
The Press Secretary in the office of Gatwech, Lt. Col. Nyang Gony Gai said Kitgwang Declaration was not consulted, thus it remains as one faction’s proposal which is the SSPLM/A under Gen. Stephen Buay.
“The leadership of SPLM/A-IO Kitgwang would like to inform its members and the general public to treat the document in circulation as one faction’s proposal since the leadership of SPLM-IO Kitgwang were not involved in the process,” Gai said in a statement seen by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper.
He reiterated Kitgwang’s call on various opposition groups to unite with common purpose, asserting their commitment to an opposition alliance through agreed ground by all concerned opposition groups.
“Therefore, the SPLM/A-IO Kitgwang maintains its position for the call of opposition unity and reaffirmed its strong commitment to an opposition alliance through agreed ground by all opposition groups,” he continued.
From his part, NAS spokesperson, Sube Samuel Manase said the holdout groups were not consulted nor have they discussed anything with Gen. Buay in regards to his proposed joint military command structure.
“NAS, therefore is not party to his [Rolnyang proposal],” Manase said.
He added that NAS is committed to the new roadmap by National Consensus Forum (NCF) to convene a roundtable conference for all oppositions, political parties, faith based groups, women, and youth to address the root cause of conflict in the country.
However, the chairman of South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A), Gen Paul Malong Awan has accepted calls for a joint military command structure to overthrow President Salva Kiir.
Malong’s acceptance was contained in an October 21 letter addressed to the Chairman of South Sudan People’s Movement/Army (SSPLM/A), General Stephen Buay Rolnyang.
“In which you come up with a proposal to challenge the regime by fighting collectively under one leadership and launch offensive fronts to save our country from the brutality of Salva Kiir government,” partly reads Malong’s letter extended to Sudan Tribune.
“We would like to assure you that your proposal has been accepted by this end,” he added.
Malong, who leads South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) urged the other groups to unite as leaders “and launch a full-scale military operation against the Juba regime.”
This month, Kitgwang Declaration had met with NAS delegation led by Gen Faiz Ismail and a high delegation allied to Buay in the Sudanese capital Khartoum in a bid to forge military alliances which is yet to materialize.
Spokesman of Gatwech, Brig-Gen Alfred Gach Thot said earlier that they have not officially made an alliance, asserting that the meeting was to find common objective among holdout groups.
“We have not yet came to the conclusion of forming an alliance, we just want to find out if all oppositions have common objectives which will help bring amicable solution to attain durable peace,” Thot said.