National, News

SSPDF denies alleged planned attack on SPLA-IO

By William Madouk


South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) has downplayed an alleged joint planned attack on the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition bases in Leer County, Unity State.

SSPDF Spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang said the allegation is false and unfounded fears.

He said the SPLM-IO assumed that Gen. Simon Maguek, who recently switched allegiance to SPLM-IG, was mobilizing youth to attack its bases in Leer County, Unity State.

SPLA-IO spokesperson, Col. Lam Paul Gabriel raised an alarm on the alleged plan to attack their bases.

“Tensions are high in Leer County as Lt. Gen. Maguek Gai, who recently defected to the SPLM-IG, is preparing to launch an attack against the SPLA-IO bases in and around the county using the SSPDF,” claimed Col. Lam.

SPLA-IO is also discontented over the defection, saying it shows that the ruling party, SPLM, now control the army rather than the constitution.

“It should be noted that the defection of Maguek Gai to SPLM-IG exposed how the SSPDF is being controlled by a party rather than the constitution of this country; this, in a nutshell, is a remedy for destruction,” he added.

Col. Lam noted that this intentional violation is aimed at causing another round of unrest and displacement of civil populations.

In commitment to the implementation of the peace deal, SPLA-IO urges the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) to investigate the matter.

“The SPLA-IO calls on the CTSAMVM to investigate this intentional violation and hold those responsible to account,” he appealed.

In a rebuttal, SSPDF spokesperson Gen. Lul Ruai denied that SSPDF had been used to attack SPLA-IO bases and instead accused SPLA-IO of a clandestine plan to attack after brainwashing the public with false claims.

“The problem with SPLM/A-IO is that whenever an officer from their side shift allegiance feels bad, they are normally the ones attacking,” said Gen. Ruai.

“I think it is a pretext; they are trying to make noise so that when they act, many people will believe it was what they said,” he added.

However, according to Ruai, SPLA-IO is planning to get rid of General Maguek while playing innocence at first, before the public.

“I’m very sure that they are mobilizing so that they could slash him out, but it’s just a massage of public opinion by saying the new group is mobilizing so that they attack,” he claimed.

The SSPDF spokesperson said it has been a trend for the SPLA-IO to always attack, whenever an officer decamps.

“These are the trends; whenever an officer with his followers defected from them and joined the SSPDF, they would be the ones attacking; they did it in Pagak when Ocan declared his defection,” he cited.

“They did it also in Joko; when Peter Kor Chuol changed sides, they did it here with General Lokujo, and they did it also in Yambio. So I’m not surprised if there will be problems; it wouldn’t be the new group, it would be the SPLA-IO,” Ruai lamented.

The SSPDF spokesperson disputes the claims that the army is being controlled by the ruling party, SPLM, rather than the constitution, saying the military protects everybody.

“When SPLM-IO leadership came in 2018, they came without even a single soldier, and we have been protecting them for the last 5 years,” Gen. Ruai remarked.

Gen. Ruai wondered if the SSPDF has ever failed its role of protection.

“Are we not executing our mandate of giving protection to everybody, regardless of who that person is?” he questioned. Whenever one of their friends joined the government, they would attack, and we have not been doing anything yet,” he noted.

On October 7, 2023, Gen. Maguek defected from SPLA-IO to SPLM-IG alongside senior commanders and about 200 officers.

He cited nepotism and claimed in a statement that he defected with over 3,000 officers and expected more to follow.

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