By Philip Buda Ladu
The Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) say their base in Nasir was attacked and burnt into ashes on Monday forcing them to tactically withdraw. SPLA-IO, Deputy Military Spokesperson Col. Lam Paul Gabriel in a statement seen by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper alleged that
their base in Nasir was attacked on the 15th March 2021 by some SSPDF ‘anti peace elements,’ an allegation the SSPDF denied.
“The SPLA-IO position of Ketbek in Nasir surprisingly came under aggressive attack from anti peace elements within the South
Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) base in Nasir. They burnt down Ketbek base to ashes making the SPLA-IO to tactically withdraw to
Pananyang in respect of the R-ARCSS” Lam said.
The deputy military spokesperson accused the SSPDF of earlier clashing with civilians in Ketbek on Sunday 14th March 2021 where they burnt civilians’ houses and destroyed other properties before they eventually advanced to the SPLA-IO base in Ketbek. “SPLA-IO would like to make it clear that it’s forces in Ketbek didn’t start or influence the fight in Koat but wondered why its base was attacked and destroyed at this time when
majority of the suffering South Sudanese want peace” he said in the statement.
He called on the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) and the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to investigate ceasefire violations in Nasir in accordance with the peace accord.
When contacted Brigadier General Santo Domic, the SSPDF Acting Spokesperson refuted the allegations levied against army saying the SPPDF didn’t attack SPLA-IO base in Ketbek. “We have never attacked anybody around Nasir, but unfortunately it’s the white army that has attacked our fishing team (SSPDF soldiers) around the Sobat River that was on the 15th March” Gen. Domic said. Gen. Domic told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that they don’t know whether the white army were fighting on the side of the
SPLA-IO or not.
Domic said most of the SPLA-IO and SSPDF soldiers were serving the same
government adding that “it is unfortunate and they are interested in trading negative accusations against anybody else.” “If there are any violations it has to be reported before the Joint Defense Board for
verification.” Gen. Domic also urged the Joint Defense Board (JDB), CTSAMVM and the security section from UN Mission in South Sudan to
investigate the accusation.