June 22, 2021 (JUBA)- The leader of the major opposition in South Sudan has sacked his chief of staff, sparking debates in ranks and files of the opposition leadership despite new assignment.
- Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, the chief of staff of the SPLA-IO, talks to the press at a rebel military site in Juba on April 25, 2016 (Photo AFP/Charles Lomodong)
An order bearing the name and signature of South Sudan’s First Vice-President in the coalition government, Riek Machar said Gen Simon Gatwech Dual has been removed and replaced with Gabriel Duop Lam.
The former armed opposition army commander, a strong ally of Machar at the height of the conflict, has now been appointed as an adviser to the president on peace.
The military spokesman of the group was also replaced and asked to report himself to the headquarters of the movement pending a decision on where to be deployed.
No statement has far been issued by the general indicating acceptance or rejection of the new changes. Sources close to him have told Sudan Tribune he was still deciding on whether he should accept or decline the new assignment.
Dual has always preferred full implementation of the peace agreement before he could return to the national capital, Juba. However, officials close to him and members of the opposition say he is dissatisfied with the way in which the security arrangements have been handled.
According to Chapter Two of the revitalized peace accord, which consists of the security arrangements, government and opposition forces are supposed to canton and train unified forces during a three-year transitional period leading into elections.
Observers, however, say the entire process has been slow and is behind schedule.