South Sudan

Gen. Gatdet Declares War on Kiir, Machar

A U.S. Commando trainer monitors a training exercise of SPLA commandos in Nzara. They are fighting rebels loyal to former Vice President Dr Riek Machar

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The powerful South Sudan dissident general, this web Peter Gatdet has declared war on both the government of Salva Kiir and the rebel movement of Dr. Riek Machar.

Gen Gatdet, who defected from Machar’s SPLA-in-Opposition group after being sacked as the Chief of Staff in charge of operations, announced the formation of his new movement – South Sudan Armed Forces (SSAF) on Friday.

According to the statement released by the SSAF spokesman, Col. Lony Thichiot Ngundeng which ChimpReports has a copy, Gatdet’s group says they have already launched a serious military operation against the government, rebels and former political detainees who signed a peace agreement recently.

The movement says the three “united” movements want to vest themselves with absolute powers and bully the population.

“The South Sudan Armed Forces has launched its foremost operation against the confused SPLA/M led government and its three branches (Kiir`s SPLA/M-IG, SPLA/M-IO and SPLA/M-G10) whose aim is absolute control of the government and intimidation of the people of South Sudan,” part of the statement reads in part.

The armed group which boasts of the presence of fierce general Johnson Olony in their ranks, says they decisively defeated the attack from government forces a few days ago in the oil-rich Upper Nile State.

Other commanders in Gen Gatdet’s movement include Gen. Gabriel Tang Ginye, Brig. Gabriel Puok Ngunoak, Brig. John Khor Ker, Brig. Obach Jago and Col. James Nuoat Puot.


The above named senior officers who were part of SPLA-IO are all said to be active in field operations to make sure SSAF wrestle power from Kiir and Machar who is the First Vice President designate.

SSAF said it split from Machar’s group not because of the sacking of its leader, Gatdet but due to the recent agreement between the government and SPLA-IO.

They accused Machar of selling the plight of people in getting into a political bed with Kiir again.

“SSAF declared its independence from SPLA-IO after Machar`s sell-out agreement with Kiir in Addis Ababa who scornfully humiliated him by committing homicide to Nuer people in Upper Nile just two days from the agreement in Juba,” he noted.

The IGAD-Plus led Compromised Peace Agreement that is ushering in a transitional government of national unity was signed by Kiir on Wednesday last week in the country`s capital, Juba.

The same agreement had already been signed by Machar and the Former Detainees’ leader, Pagan Amum who all agreed to get together in the transitional government that is going to steer the oil-rich but unstable nation for 30 months and in the next 6 months organize a national elections.

The declaration of another movement and total war by Gatdet and his colleagues is another threat to the recently signed peace deal that’s expected to permanently and peacefully resolve the South Sudan crisis.


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