Press Statement | Lam Paul
Violation of R-ARCSS in Wau
July 20, 2020 (Thessherald)–On Saturday 18/07/2020, at about 11:30AM, a convoy of SSPDF disarmament force under the command of Lt. Gen. Riin Tueny met with Brig. Gabriel Bol Wek and some few soldiers of the SPLA-IO in Nyabor as they were going to Wadho Alel to prepare to receive the Governor of Western Bar El Gazal State.
Noticing that the SPLA-IO soldiers were armed, the SSPDF decided to disarm and arrest them including Brig. Bol Wek; even after they introduced themselves as SPLA-IO soldiers.
The SPLA-IO forces on the ground in return blocked the road between Wau and Tonj and arrested some IG soldiers and civilians who were together with the soldiers at that time.
This brought in tension that led to exchange of fire between the SSPDF and the SPLA-IO on the ground, in complete violation of the permanent ceasefire in particular and the R-ARCSS in general.
The SPLA-IO respects the decision of the SSPDF to disarm civilians in their areas of control but not the SPLA-IO forces or civilians in areas controlled by the SPLA-IO.
The SPLA-IO leadership asks the civilians to remain calm as this incident is a result of misunderstanding by soldiers on the ground and is being handled by the leadership of both sides in Juba.
The SPLA-IO directs its forces on the ground to release those SSPDF soldiers and civilians arrested including their belongings. At the same time, the SPLA-IO calls upon the SSPDF command to release Brig. Bol Wek with all his soldiers and all their guns so that they go back to their base.
Finally, the SPLA-IO calls upon RJMEC, JDB and CTSAMVM to investigate this violation and bring those responsible to book.
Col. Lam Paul Gabriel
SPLA-IO Deputy Military Spokesperson.