Home | News    Sunday 29 November 2015

Top South Sudanese rebel defector in talks with government

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November 28, 2015 (JUBA) – A top South Sudanese rebel commander, who in July defected from the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) led by former vice-president, Riek Machar, has finally come out of shadows and requested president Salva Kiir’s government for a deal which would make it possible for him to return to Juba.

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Rebel General Peter Gatdet Yaka gestures as he speaks to South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar (not seen) in a rebel controlled territory in Jonglei February 1, 2014. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

After more than 4 months of defection when he disowned the leadership of Machar, former deputy chief of general staff for operations in the SPLA-IO, Major General Peter Gatdet Yak, said he was ready to return to president Kiir’s government if his demands were met.

He demanded withdrawal of foreign forces from South Sudan as well as assurance that free and fair elections will be conducted in the country.

"Peace can be established and the fighting can end once the occupation of the foreign forces is over and leave and the people of South Sudan…given the right to choose their own destiny and establish their own choice of government and governance,” Yak demanded on Saturday.

He made the comments during an interview with Sudan Tribune in one of his hiding places, presumed to be somewhere at South Sudan-Sudan border, where he moved after being ejected from Pagak following his defection from Machar.

His ambition remains the subject of speculations. Many military sources from his Bul clan, the largest section in the Nuer ethnic group in Unity state, claimed he was seeking a deal which would make him a deputy commander-in-chief of the government forces, effectively reviving the position previously created for late General Paulino Matip Nhial, who became second in military command after president Kiir.

Late Nhial integrated his forces into the South Sudanese army (SPLA) in 2006 and in compliance with the provision of Juba declaration agreement. He died in 2011 but his non-constitutional position has never been filled.

Yak on the other hand has led an extremely notorious life since embarking on military career. His followers have been responsible for the deaths of thousands during the devastating civil war between south and north Sudan.

He switched allegiances on the battlefields, fighting first for the Sudanese army in which he allegedly received millions in cash and weaponry from Khartoum in defence of oil fields before crossing back to the SPLA.

A presidential aide said his envoy met with president Kiir recently at the presidential palace and, possibly, other senior leaders to try to seal a deal for his return.

The president’s office did not deny or confirm that the meetings had taken place. One legislator from his ethnic Nuer said the talks were part of community initiative within the framework of comprehensive peace agreement and in the context of an "internal dialogue" that pointedly excludes IGAD, a regional bloc which has been a key mediator for the peace talks.

"If IGAD member countries, especially Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya want peace, then this is the only way. They should help us and support to engage in an internal dialogue as brothers and sisters. They should not impose peace on us, after all, we are the same people who have issues to discuss and should be the same people to find a solution to our differences through peaceful dialogue. It is not the IGAD, not even the America and her allies to decide what are good or bad for us,” said a South Sudanese member of parliament in Juba.

He criticized the performance of the IGAD mediation team and claiming the “real authority” during negotiation period was with the American special envoy and not mediating team.

General Yak defected together with Major General Gathoth Gatkuoth, Major General Gabriel Tanginye and other Brigadier Generals including Gatwech Puoch and Chuol Gekah. Their political leader was alleged to be Gabriel Changson Chang, former chairperson for finance committee in the opposition faction.

The disgruntled commanders said their reason for defection was lack of seriousness from their former leader, Machar, to effectively fight the war against president Kiir’s government, vowing to continue to fight against both the government and Machar’s faction.

Other sources however said the commanders with their political leader, Changson Chang, were lured by the government’s chief of general staff, Paul Malong Awan, with a fictitious project to remove both president Kiir and opposition leader, Machar, so that the officers could for a transitional government without the two leaders.

(ST)

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  • 28 November 2015 21:49, by Pinyin Gatkuoth

    The Good thing for Kiir leadership he used to hunting people seriously and kill/slaughter them normally.
    E.g. Western Equatoria Speaker,George Athor Deng.
    If your time come from heaven Generals Peter.Gathoh, Gabriel Tang and Chuol Gakak please go to Juba for false peace b/n
    you and Dinkas plus Nuer Weew.

    repondre message

  • 28 November 2015 22:00, by Pinyin Gatkuoth

    Peter Gatdet, Gathoth Gatkuoth and Gabreal Tang,plesae make sure that you are serious enemies of Dinka, all jieng community are think for way to you brothers don’t give shame to naath/nuer to begging Dinka when they kill you.
    we love all general but your shallow think of you is not good, how come getdet and Gathoth will go black to Juba?
    Please!!please!! done be bland full by Changson and Gatwec

    repondre message

  • 29 November 2015 00:22, by Dinka-Defender-General

    No easy way to Juba generals. You killed thousands of civilians. Therefore, you don’t need you in Juba again. What did you achieve by thousand innocent civilians? Are you serious? You can fight your way to Juba or join Riek Machar. Your greedy leader. I am ones of the general here in South Sudan Army and I don’t to here this request. President Kiir should demote all generals or Army leaders who fo

    repondre message

    • 29 November 2015 00:27, by Dinka-Defender-General

      President Kiir needs to demote all generals or army leaders who fought for Machar selfish war. I can’t believe these generals. They are blood thirsty and tribal hyenas.

      repondre message

      • 29 November 2015 02:57, by Akook

        OMG Nuer people. Very very chaotic and unleaded people

        repondre message

  • 29 November 2015 05:00, by Kenyang

    Of course, all including Riek will surrender. It has always been a matter of time. Those who are impatience to wait can’t have patience to finish anything. We know these roaches.

    repondre message

  • 29 November 2015 06:35, by Son of Ngundeng

    Good morning yaa balaad jinub.
    Fake general you shoot your own deputy in Bor division 8
    And you want to returned to Juba in brought daylight while Dinka are dancing for your going to Juba.
    We have an example a cows couldn’t drink water at night they drink water at the daylight which resulted to be eaten by hyena in the bushes.
    Lack of education always bring mess all are primitive generals.

    repondre message

  • 29 November 2015 08:29, by Gabriel KK

    Big no to Peter Gadet!! your days are numbered. no more jumping from government to bush and from bush to government.

    repondre message

  • 29 November 2015 16:03, by Michael Miyom Minyiel

    can forgiveness binds strong in the south Sudanese society? Gadet has killed enough and enough is enough..
    The fool always dances with his shadow.

    repondre message

    • 30 November 2015 08:01, by Redeemer

      I begging the faithful to pray for Nuer

      repondre message

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