South Sudan: Should we be worried about the SPLM-IO infighting? [and shouldn’t Machar have a sit-down with the rebel generals?]

Political Bureau of the SPLM-IO rejects the declaration of General Simon Gatwech Dual as the new interim leader of the SPLM/A-IO. The highest organ of the opposition group met to discuss the recent defection of Gatwech & removal of former sector 1 commander Gen. Johnson Olony” (Radio Miraya, 05.08.2021).

According the SPLM/A IO (Kitgwang) Spokesperson

– Two Generals loyal to Dr. Riek Machar Teny have been killed but their name will not be announce/identify due to security reason.

– Almost all heavy artilleries, tanks and vehicles from Machar IO have been captured in good condition.

– Dr. Riek Machar was the one who ordered his forces to attack and take Magenis, said Prisoners” (South Sudan TMZ, 07.08.2021).

All of this is happening as there is 30 people who is reported dead and 13 injured. The reports of the warfare and skirmishes between the parties of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army – In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO).

This is happening after Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual last month in a statement declared the end of the reign of Dr. Riek Machar in the party. However, the Political Bureau of the SPLM/A-IO rejected that and they have now openly rebelled.

Gen. Gatcwech Dual was the Chief of Staff, but has started to rebel with other allies in the Upper Nile. They are now doing in-fighting. This seems to become yet another rebel outfit. There are already others out there by Gen. Paul Malong and Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka. It would be yet another general creating his army. This is happening as the launch of another called South Sudan Patriotic Movement/Army (SSPM/A). Therefore, Gatwech Dual will have his loyal followers and fellow soldiers, which comes out from SPLM/A-IO. However, this is not a game of strength.

The peace agreement and R-ARCSS doesn’t need more men with arms. It needs people around the table and fix the mechanisms for a peaceful transition. This is just being in-fighting and not resolving things internally within the SPLM/A-IO. That is partly Dr. Machar’s fault, as he haven’t settled it or resolved the grudges. That’s why his generals are spiking it and suddenly turning violent.

The First Vice President (FVP) Machar needs to look at himself and what needs to be done. Everyone is triggering easily the guns, instead of going to the negotiation table. That isn’t what people should see. The mentality is out of whack and innocent is usually the ones who pays the ultimate price.

If Machar knew this was floated and had ideas of the possible brewing sentiments. Instead of letting it boil over. Everyone who follows saw the declaration and that should have been the moment he triggered some talks and fixed the issues the General had. However, Machar let it instead go a long time and now the blood has been spilled. All over a title and a rank within the SPLM/A-IO.

This here should be a humbling experience for Machar. That he has to act more directly and be with his leaders. It seems like something has gotten out his way and this is why the skirmishes has happened.

Machar needs to fix it and rapidly. This is his mess to begin with. It is his rebellion and they have targeted the SPLM/A-IO directly. They haven’t gone after the National Army or any other rebel outfit. No, they have gone for the head and to signal the throne.

This is why he has do something and not just expel them, but maybe even parley, as this shouldn’t be an incident, which can assault and destroy the R-ARCSS. Then its all Machar fault and he can be pointed at for a total failure. That is something I doubt he wants to be remembered for. Since this was his men and allies who went at him. This might hurt him and humiliate him. However, the deaths and the violence should be a reason to whatever he can to silence the guns. Peace.

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