National, News

SPLM-IO alleges assassination attempt on Col. Lam

By William Madouk


Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) has alleged an assassination attempt on Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, the military spokesman by South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF).

First deputy speaker of the national Assembly, Nathaniel Oyet reported the matter in a formal complaint letter addressed to the head of the Ceasefire, Transitional Security Arrangement, Monitoring, and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM).

Oyet expounded on an incident involving two armoured vehicles targeting Col. Lam’s personal vehicle.

“Today, February 21, 2024, at around 9:00 a.m. local time, in Gudele II, in Juba, two (2) numberless military-armoured vehicles, suspected to belong to the Military Intelligence Unit of the SSPDF, trailed and intercepted a personal car belonging to Col. Lam Paul Gabriel,” Oyet wrote in the letter seen by this outlet.

“The two (2) armoured vehicles stopped and blocked Col. Lam’s car at Gudele II. Men in military uniform and civilian clothes jumped and forcefully opened the door and fired at the driver of the car,” he added.

According to Oyet, the hitmen afterwards discovered the man in the vehicle was not Col. Lam; as such, they stole the car and drove towards Luri military barracks.

However, they abandoned the car and their victim along the Juba-Luri road after communicating with an unidentified command.

“After discovering that he was not Col. Lam, they then took control of the vehicle, masked the driver, and drove him towards the Luri military barrack, expecting that he was dead,” Oyet noted in his narrative.

The SPLM-IO deputy chairman underscored that the incident constituted an assassination attempt on Col. Lam’s life, citing previous threats against the SPLA-IO spokesperson as evidence.

“It should also be noted that this incident followed repeated warning signals of threats to the life of the SPLA-IO Spokesperson while on duty. I would like to highlight that the office of the Spokesperson is part and parcel of the General Headquarters of the SPLM/SPLA-IO,” he explained.

Mr. Oyet also alleged attempts on his own security, mentioning harassment, humiliation, and intimidation of his office staff, bodyguards, and drivers by government security operatives.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to bring to your good attention that throughout the last quarter of 2023, especially after passing the controversial budget for the Financial Year 2023/2024 in Parliament, there have been plots within the National Security Services and the Military Intelligence Unit of the SSPDF to temper my personal security and the security of my offices and facilities,” he said.

“This is displaying the highest level of hostilities in violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA) signed in 2017 and therefore threatening the Permanent Ceasefire Agreement (PCA) signed in 2018,” he added.

But in an interview with the No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, SPLA-IO spokesman Col. Lam Paul Gabriel said he was outside the country when the reported incident occurred, adding that he is fine and doing his duties.

“I am a soldier; currently, my duty post is Juba, and I am a member of the mechanism to implement peace, so there is no need for me to fear because if my life is in danger, then the lives of South Sudanese are in danger,” said Lam.

“I can confirm to you that I am fine and I am performing my duties as normal. Yesterday I went to Bilpham,” he continued.

He added that the assignment attempt incident was reported to the SSPDF chief of Defence forces to investigate.

However, when contacted by the No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the SSPDF spokesperson, Maj. Gen Lul Ruai Koang, said Oyet is a political figure and therefore he would allow the SPLM political wing to respond to him.

“So, I would leave it to the political leadership of this county to respond to him as well as the members of the assembly or SPLM members in the parliament,” said Ruai.

“Because if the accusation was directed at us by a military figure, we would have responded, but he is not a military figure but a political figure,” he added.

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