National, News

Blame games, fresh clashes rock military factions


Col. Lamp Paul SPLA-IO

Major Gen. Lul Ruai [SSPDF]

By Taban Henry/Kiden Stela Mandela

Fresh clashes have hit the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition in Longechuk County in Upper Nile State on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/ Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) tendered a letter to the Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, (RJMEC) suspending their participation in the meetings of the Ceasefire Monitoring body including the RJMEC.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) accused the SSPDF soldiers for attacking and taking over control of their positions in Jekou.

The fighting that erupted, Thursday morning was between parties to the 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.

Major Gen. Lul Ruai who is the SSPDF’s spokesperson told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that opposition forces attacked their defensive position early on Thursday.

“Yesterday morning, the IO attacked our positions in Malual Gahoth in Upper Nile State, and are in preparation to attack our forces in Turru, Pagak, and Mewut,” Ruai said.

He revealed that the SSPDF soldiers took control of Jekou for an hour but the SSPDF chief of defense forces ordered the forces to withdraw from Jokeu to their initial position.

Ruai revealed that the killing of an SSPDF soldier by the SPLA-IO forces led to the fresh clashes that took place this week.

“The causes of the recent clashes has been caused by different reasons at Jekou, the SPLM-IO forces have been killing our forces in cold blood in Pangak and Nasir. Whenever our soldier goes out for administrative reason or fishing, collection of firewood hunting that soldier will be killed in cold blood by either individuals or the elements of SPLM –IO,” he revealed.

“Our soldier went out hunting and was killed in cold blood and then his colleagues who responded discovered that the SPLA-IO killed their soldier and were running, that led to the clashes which started from Turu up to Jekou” Lul said.

In response the SPLA-IO Spokesperson Col. Lamp Paul Gabriel also confirmed the clashes but saying their position was atacked by the SSPDF.

“The allegation saying that we attacked the SSPDF forces is not true but instead our position have been attacked all along, our positions have been attacked by the SSPDF and the claim that we attacked them is a lie,” he said.

“It is them who came and attacked us at the place call Goul and its our place and until this afternoon (Thursday) we were able to repulse them, the claim that said we attacked them in Malual Gathoth is not true they came and attacked us in Goul where the fighting took place,” Lam added.

He mentioned that the suspension of the SPLM-IO members from going to mechanism meetings, the reasons were very clear since when we came to Juba, we have been subjected to series of attacks by our peace partner, our cantonment sites were attacked beginning from Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal.

Lam stated that they have been reporting cases of violation but no serious attention was taken.

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