Gen. Peter Gatdet denies having talks with S. Sudan government

September 20, 2016 (NAIROBI) – The commander of the armed forces of South Sudan United Movement has dismissed as “untrue” reports that he reached an agreement with President Salva Kiir’s government.

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Gen. Peter Gatdet told Sudan Tribune from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi that had never made any contact with the Juba establishment as claimed.

“The claim by President Salva Kiir’s security advisor was not true. I Gen. Gatdet have never held talks with any officials and I have to dismiss it as misinformation and misinterpretation from Tut Kew Gatluak,” he said.

The general, formerly with ex-vice president Riek Machar-led rebels, said he cannot betray his people without identifying the root causes of 2013 massacre of Nuers and other South Sudanese civilians.

“I fought Salva Kiir and the groups with purpose and I decided to reject the IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development]-Plus peace agreement about re-unification of the SPLM [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement] because of premeditated bloody confrontation between our communities that reflected the tribal divisions in South Sudan under the poor leadership,” he stressed.

The official, however said, he was willing to be part of a comprehensive agreement designed to unite all South Sudanese.

“If there would be peace for all opposition members, I must be convinced with the durable peace that will address the root cause of the fighting and the reason why 30,000 civilians were killed in Juba. We fought with the Juba government and three armed groups, likewise all the opposition groups,” he said.

For lasting peace to be achieved in South Sudan, he added, there was need for inclusiveness in representation within government, which would pave way for realization of a final peace agreement.

Since the beginning of the South Sudan conflict in 2013, Gatdet has been operating in Bor, Jonglei State from where he crossed to Malakal in Upper Nile state. In 2014, United States, through its State Department, imposed sanctions on the commander of President Kiir’s guards, Major General Marial Chanuong Yol together with Gatdet.

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