Gladys Fred Kole
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) rubbishes claims by the renegade General Simon Gatwech, that President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar political profiteers.
Gen. Gatwech, the leader of the SPLM/A-IO Kit-Gwang said in an exclusive interview with Radio Tamazuj that Kiir and Machar were political profiteers and should be removed if South Sudan is to have peace.
He further ruled out the possibility of the country going to the polls in December 2024 as the last stage to conclude the revitalized peace agreement’s implementation and transition of South Sudan into democracy.
Gen. Gatweck alleged that the duo would scuttle things to remain in power.
“They are deceiving people because they will start fighting again close to the elections, and you will prove me right when the time comes.” Gatwech was quoted.
But in a rebuttal, Mr. Puok Both Baluang, the press secretary in the office of the First Vice President, dismissed all of Gatwech’s claims and proclamations.
“This is an attempt to tarnish the good reputation of the leader of SPLM-IO, Dr. Riak Machar,” Baluang said, defending his boss against Gatwech sentiments.
He further said the SPLM-IO party is fully committed to the implementation of the R-ARCSS and the endpoint of the agreement, which is free and fair elections.
“We are ready for elections; the question should be if the country is ready and Gatwech should tackle or elaborate on instead, to have a credible and fair election in the country,” Baluang hinted.
Mr. Baluang insisted that everything should be in place for the conduct of elections.
“We want a fair and transparent election, not circumstances that will lead the country to war again,” he said.
Baluang argued that SPLM-IO is a reformed institution, adding they are taking the issue of stability and security in the country very seriously.
However, Machar’s press secretary acknowledged that there’s still no constitution in place and that refugees and internally displaced persons are not repatriated to their places of origin.
“The security arrangements must be in place; we are talking about political and civic space; we are talking about people to demonstrating their views freely; freedom of speech; and so much more.” Puok said.
Meanwhile, repeated efforts to reach the SPLM-IG for a response to Gen. Simon Gatwech Duals allegations were futile by press time.