The SPLA-IO Spokesperson Col. Lam Paul Gabriel/Courtesy photo
By Taban Henry
The Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition has blamed the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) for continues fight over position, a reason for the recent violence.
This was revealed to the media on Thursday after fresh clashes 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.
On Monday 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.
Speaking in a telephone interview with No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the SPLA-IO Spokesperson Col. Lam Paul Gabriel revealed that the rival over position by some leaders in the government has been the cause of the continuous violence in the country.
He said they thought the positions are more powerful that the peace agreement.
“There are people who think that there position is more powerful than this peace agreement. We know that this unification of command which is supposed to happen but is not happening, because they don’t want their positions to be taken away from them,” Lam said.
Col. Lam added that the issue of position has nothing to do with what people of South Sudan wants.
He stated that as long as SSPDF continue defending their positions, they will continue with the violence they are putting against the SPLA-IO.
“We have been implementing peace since day one till now we are still for peace, if war breaks it’s not from the SPLA-IO it’s from them. We all want peace with all our hearts and that is why we are here and we are not going to leave until peace is implemented,” he stated.
The SPLA-IO’s spokesperson confirmed that they decided to pull out from the mechanism meeting with a very clear mandate, adding that he want this violence to come to an end.
“We want things to move forward but not war and this is the situation we are in. We are not going to go away from Juba. Being in Juba does not mean we surrender. If they think we are going to keep quiet while in Juba they will kill us they are wrong. We are here in Juba we are not leaving anywhere and if the SSPDF wants to kill us let them kill us here in Juba,” he explained.
Col. Lam stressed that they came in December 2018 for peace while adding that since then up to date what they have been doing is implementing peace.
He assured the people of the Republic of South Sudan that they are here to make sure that peace is implemented and we are not going anywhere else.
In response the SSPDF spokesperson Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang dismissed the allegation saying they fight indirectly over different issues, it has not been the issue of position even the recent conflict has not been the issue of position.
“Which power are we fighting for on the ground? The peace agreement was reached in 2018 with acceptable power sharing formula and when the opposition was satisfied with the percentages that were allocated to them they came to Juba,” Lul said.
Gen. Lul mentioned that the opposition is represented in the executive of all the three levels starting from the national, state and the county levels as well as the legislative adding that they are working out formulas on how they can be represented at the security level.
Lul stated that he failed to understand what fight over the position he (Lam) is referring to.