Juba, National, News

No longer for war-Olony

By William Madouk

A leader of an armed group, known as “Agwelek forces” that split from government army, arrived Juba for peace implementation and he assured the people that South Sudan would not relapse back to war.

“I was born and grew up here in Juba and I shot my first bullet in Juba…I come to join hands with president Salva Kiir so that we do one thing and I hope South Sudan will not relapse back to war,” General Johnson Olony remarked on arrival at Juba airport.

He jetted with around 200 soldiers including high-ranked members, such as Lt-Gen Thomas Mabor his deputy, Lt-Gen Beny Muon including generals among other team of the delegation.

A moment after touching ground, at Juba airport, Gen. Olony stated that he is in the capital to join hands with President Salva Kiir to expedite the implementation of the Khartoum Declaration.

“I am here for peace, the peace that we previously signed with the government,” the leader of Agwelek, on Sunday, 14th May2023 told journalists on arrival from Upper Nile state of South Sudan.

“I was supposed to have come earlier but had some few issues to settle first, and I am here today,” he added.

The SPLM-In Government and SPLM/A-IO Kitgwang factions signed the Khartoum peace agreement last year. However, there has been a delay in the implementation of the deal.

Although the agenda of his visit is not disclosed to the media, the head of Agwelek forces is expected to stay capital for five days, in which he will have a thorough conversation with president Kiir on how to implement 2022 peace deal.

“I hope will go back after 5 days to Upper Nile and rally people of Upper Nile to re-build Malakal,” he continued.

Meanwhile, presidential advisor for security affairs, Tut Gatluak, lashed out at the ‘doubting Thomases’ and told them off that their ‘hearsays’ are now dead because Olony had already arrived Juba.

“Some people don’t want to give peace a chance. They are always after hearsays but today it becomes true, and all rumors failed. Olony is now with us here in Juba as a response to the president’s call,” Gatluak stressed.

Mr. Gatluak added that Upper Nile state is now at total peace and appealed to the residents who fled conflict to POC and refugees’ settlements to return back, affirming that the state is now free from any ‘armed’ group.

“The peace was not complete but now with the arrival of Olony, I assure you that everything is completed expect those whom we did not sign agreement with, and we are continuing to bring all oppositions on board,” he added.

In January 2022, the Kitgwang SPLM/A-IO faction signed a peace agreement in Khartoum with President Kiir’s government.

The agreement was signed by security advisor, Tut Gatluak, the Director-General of the National Security’s Internal Security Bureau, Akol Koor, and the SSPDF Military Intelligence Director General Stephen Marshal on behalf of the South Sudan government.

Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual and his deputy, Gen. Johnson Olony, inked the deal on behalf of their SPLM/A-IO breakaway Kitgwang faction.

The agreement entailed that; the government of South Sudan would facilitate the creation of coordination offices in Juba, Malakal, and Bor to assist in the process of assembling and reintegrating the Kitgwang faction.

It also guarantees the implementation of the security arrangements and a permanent ceasefire and grants the Kitgwang faction amnesty, containment, and reintegration of the breakaway forces into the SSPDF within three months, among others.

The Kitgwang faction under Gen Gatwech however became disappointed months after the signing of the peace deal and blamed the government for not implementing it.

Gatwech and Olony later fell out and the former fired the latter as his deputy and their forces clashed severally. Olony would later say that he was for peace and willing to go to Juba.

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