General demands urgent de-escalation of Mirmir clashes

The SPLA-IO Acting Chief of General Staff Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam and Co-Chair of Joint Defense Board (JDB)/Photo: Philip Buda Ladu

By Philip Buda Ladu

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) Acting Chief of General Staff Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam and Co-chair of Joint Defense Board (JDB) said the reported clashes in Mirmir cantonment site of Koch County, Unity State and Maiwut in Upper Nile needed urgent intervention from the JDB leadership to cease the fire.

There have been reports of ongoing clashes in Mirmir cantonment site in Koch County of Unity State in recent days amid the recommitment of parties to the implementation of the security arrangements and cessation of hostilities.

Gen. Duop said quick implementation of the security arrangements, unification of the command and eventual graduation of the unified forces will help bring to rest the persistent gunfire exchange that is said to be between the SPLA-IO and allied militias backed up by SSPDF.

He made his appeal at the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces General Headquarters in Bilpam on Friday during a joint meeting by the JDB command of the three forces parties to the agreement over the unification of the unified forces command.   

Gen. Duop who Co-chairs the JDB said there are accusations and counter accusations between the SPLA-IO forces and some allied militia which are said to be backed by the SSPDF saying that’s the area which people used to debate on that matter of fidgeting in Koch Mirmir cantonment site and the question is; who is fighting who?

“What will stop it is the implementation of the security arrangements, because the projection is to build one national army. Now that the command of the forces is going to be unified as stipulated on Sunday agreement, we are going to have one command of the forces,” he noted.

He said before the command of the forces, those issues of violations in the agreement are always solved by the mechanisms set forth for that particular mission.

“In the case of South Sudan peace agreement there are some mechanisms led by the Joint Defense Board (JDB), there is also JMCC and there is JTSC for training, so whenever there is problem because our peace now we went for two years, the JDB is working and it is responsible for the charge of command and control on behalf of the forces that are involved or party to the agreement,” Gen. Duop explained.

 “Whenever there is a violation, the JDB in collaboration with JTSC use to form committees whether it is a high-level committee that involves the co-chairs or a technical committee in the middle of some senior officers and we solved a number of problems in the areas of Kajo-Keji, areas of Maiwut” he said.

“Let me say in short, the issues of insecurity in Koch and the areas of Maiwut need to be addressed very urgently by the JDB and I want to tell you that we are going to have a small meeting at the level of the command of the two forces and our security apparatus so that we form a committee to go down and cease the fire,” Gen. Duop, the SPLA-IO Acting Chief of General Staff obliged.

He hinted that “I want to say security arrangement is the backbone of the agreement, it is very important for the parties to implement the security arrangements to unify the forces so that we move from that level to another level that one is very important and I hope if the command comes together we shall be moving forward mostly”.

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