File photo shows Gen.Simon Gatwech Dual, the newly appointed presidential advisor for peace

South Sudan’s Machar Summons Gen. Dual To Juba Amid Tension

By Simon Deng

South Sudan’s First Vice President and leader of Sudan People’s Liberation Army/ Movement-in opposition (SPLA/M-IO) Riek Machar Teny has summoned his Chief of Staff Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual to return to the capital to take a new appointment as advisor to the president.

Dual recently turned down job offer to serve as presidential advisor on peace which is part of the numerous issues that have caused disquiet within the SPLA/M-IO party ranks.

Puok Both Baluang, SPLM-IO’s Director for Information and Public Relations confirmed Machar’s plans to meet with Dual whom he relieved on June 22nd after the two leaders disagreed over implementation of the 2018 revitalized peace deal. 

He disclosed that Machar has given the green light for his top military commander to travel to Khartoum and return later on to Juba to take up the presidential advisor position.

“Riek Machar Teny, the chairman and the commander in chief of the SPLA-IO and the First Vice President of the republic of South Sudan relieved Gen Simon Gatwech Dual from the position of chief of General staff of SPLA-IO with effect from Tuesday, 22 June 2021,” said Baluang in a statement seen by The Dawn.

However, a viral video circulating on social media contradicts the position of SPLM-IO as Dual remains against taking up the presidential aide post.

Dual who is believed to be between the Sudan-South Sudan border with sizable number of troops he commands maintains his earlier position in the said video of not returning to Juba.

Baluang said Dual was appointed through a republican decree as presidential advisor on peace with his full knowledge and consent, noting that the presidency has so far increased the number of advisors to four in just six months.

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