Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual and Lt. Gen. Johnson Olony evacuated to Sudan as clashes ceased
According to Lam Paul, Machar’s camp has received information that Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual and Lt. Gen. Johnson Olony have been evacuated to neighboring Sudan, one of the peace agreement’s guarantors.
The violence that began this morning in Upper Nile State’s Magenis region between the SPLA-IO’s opposing groups has ceased, a military officer close to Riek Machar claimed.
Earlier this week, a group of military generals claimed that First Vice President Riek Machar had been removed from his positions as leader of the SPLM-IO and commander-in-chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in-Opposition (SPLA-IO).
Among these senior generals are former Chief of Staff General Simon Gatwech Dual, Sector One Command’s General Johnson Olony, and Sector Three Command’s General Thomas Mabor Dhoal.
The new group appointed First Lieutenant General Simon Gatwech Dual as temporary head of the opposition. Riek Machar, on the other hand, held an emergency meeting on Thursday and refuted reports that he had been removed and replaced by General Simon Gatwech.
“The fighting began this morning (Saturday) at 6:30 a.m. and lasted until about 9 a.m. I can affirm that fighting have ceased and our troops have returned to their assigned regions, but our forces remain on high alert,” Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, a spokesperson for SPLA-IO forces loyal to Riek Machar, said Radio Tamazuj this afternoon.
Col. Lam accused First Lieutenant General Simon Gatwech Dual’s troops of attacking their positions in the Gezan region. “The troops loyal to Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual and Gen. Johnson Olony attempted assaults on our forces, but were repulsed,” Paul Lam stated. “The battle was fierce, and three of our men were killed in action, while another 13 suffered injuries.”