Kiir forms committee to investigate cause of SPLA-IO conflict

Thursday August 12 2021
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir. PHOTO | FILE | NMG

By Garang Malak


South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has urged factions of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) to cease fire and work towards peace.

Factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO), the military force of Riek Machar's SPLM-IO, have been fighting.

Addressing members of the press on Wednesday in Juba, Tut Gatluak, President Kiir advisor on National Security Affairs, said a committee has been formed to investigate the root causes of the division.

He urged the warring factions to embrace dialogue.

“After we signed the 2018 peace agreement, we don’t need to lose more lives to civil war. Now, we are moving towards unifying the forces but we are concerned by the declaration and fighting that took place in the Magenis area.


“We issue this statement to assure our people that we are committed to the implementation of the peace deal,” Mr Gatluak said.

SPLM-IO spokesperson Puok Buluang said the warring factions have agreed to end hostilities.

“Gen Olony informed H.E Dr Riek Machar about their group's acceptance to ceasefire. In an amicable atmosphere, Dr Riek emphasised the need to resolve peacefully the incident that took place in Meganis of Upper Nile State.

“Dr Riek and Gen Olony agreed to immediately send Panyikang County Commissioner to the county headquarters to assume his duties and assure the population that there is peace in the area. The two agreed to maintain contact,” Mr Buluang said.

On Monday, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) called on SPLM-IO party to cease hostilities within its group.

The call came after some SPLA-IO soldiers loyal to Dr Riek Machar and those loyal to Machar's former army chief Lt Gen Gatwech Dual clashed in Meganis at the weekend.

Last Wednesday, a group of senior generals SPLM-IO announced they had dismissed Dr Machar as commander of the group, accusing him of reneging on the movement’s vision.

The SPLM-IO generals ostensibly replaced Machar with his previous army chief Simon Gatwech Dual with immediate effect. Dr Machar’s political bureau condemned the move and described the generals behind the plan as peace spoilers.

According to current data, at least 34 soldiers have been killed from both sides in the Meganis clashes.