AUTHOR: Daniel Garang Deng | PUBLISHED: June 8, 2023
The leader of Agwelek Forces, Gen Johnson Olony, has sworn allegiance to President Salva Kiir after nearly 10 years since he took up arms against the administration in 2013.
The meeting between President Kiir and Olony on Wednesday discussed the re-integration of forces.
Kiir made an assurance of his commitment for peace and applauded Olony and his delegation for responding positively and embracing the calls for peace.
“We are happy that you have accepted to come to Juba to join the peace process. We want peace and we are ready and committed to pulling the country into the trajectory of peace and stability,” Kiir said in a press statement issued by his office.
President Kiir urged the leaders of Agwelek Forces to prove their commitment and willingness for peace by taking serious steps toward its implementation.
“If you have come for peace, please come with the hearts of peace. We do not want to see anyone going back to the bush because South Sudan is too big and it has enough to cater for all of us.” Kiir cautioned.
He directed all security officials and institutions to incorporate the Agwelek Forces into the national army as per the Khartoum Agreement.
On 16 January 2022, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Government (SPLM-IG) and the breakaway faction of the SPLM-IO – Agwelek Forces – signed the deal in Khartoum to end the conflict in the Upper Nile region, which was the strong-hold of General Johnson Olony.
The peace deal guarantees the implementation of the security arrangements, a permanent ceasefire, grants the Kit Gwang faction amnesty, containment, and reintegration of the breakaway SPLA-IO forces into the South Sudanese Peoples Defense Forces (SSPDF).
In May 2023, Olony came with 200 soldiers to implement the letters of the agreement and promised to work with Kiir to restore peace in the country.
In 2015, a disagreement between him and Simon Kuon, the then governor of Upper Nile State, reportedly made him switch to the SPLA-IO under Dr Riek Machar, whom he later fell out with.