SPLA-IO and SSPDF forces exchange blames

By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) military spokesperson Col. Lam Paul Gabriel has accused some elements within South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) of creating problems in order for peace not to prevail, with the aim of benefiting from the conflict.

This came following the recent incident that reportedly claimed a life of one solider from SPLA-IO and left two others injured in Maiwut County of Upper Nile State.

Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, Col. Lam Paul said that the clashes started when their defensive position was attacked.

“Our forces came under attack led by Gen. Ochan Puot who is under the command of SSPDF but they were repelled… but next we lost one solider and two others were injured,”

The SPLA-IO spokesperson said they were taken by surprise of what might have prompted SSPDF to attack their forces.

He however noted that calm has been the order of the day for months now between SSPDF and SPLA-IO.

“There are people who do not want total peace in this country because when there is a total calm, there will be a lot of changes, people will start coming home but some people benefit a lot from the war,” Col. Lam claimed.

“Just like what has just happened, others will always find a way to continue with insecurities so that they continue gaining at the extreme of the majority who are suffering,” he continued.

Col. Lam argued that Gen. Ochan of the SSPDF should have called the JDB if he might have heard of any attack that SPLA-IO forces might have been planning.

“For me, I think there are others who trigger violence to happen, otherwise why would Gen. Ochan Puot attack our forces? If they might have noticed anything suspicious, they should rather call the JDB because they are here,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile the spokesperson of SSPDF major General Lul Ruai Koang refuted the allegations by Col. Lam Gabriel and pointed fingers at the SPLA-IO to have been the cause of the incident.

“Around 18th of this month, there was a fight in that area and civilian properties were looted and they were even relocated to another area …then on 26th there was fighting among the local community there,” Gen. Lul Ruai responded.

The SSPDF spokesperson claimed that the area of the said attack only has civilians, adding they do not have presence in the area, the SPLA-IO has talked about.

“There were locals that were fighting with SPLA-IO because the elements from that area looted their cows, we are not involved,” Gen. Lul alleged.

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