Dec 13, 2020 (Thessherald)–On Saturday, the Office of the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs debunked destructive criticism and urged SPLM-IO members not to shift the blame onto Defence Minister Angelina Jany Teny over the recent fighting between the SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces in the Equatoria region.
“The Office of the Minister of Defence and Veteran’s Affairs sighted with concern the trending attacks on social media against the Defence Minister, Hon. Angelina Jany Teny by some aggrieved SPLM/A-IO cadres who are rightly angry with the violations against the SPLA-IO forces in Morota Training Centre,” said Lam Paul Gabriel, Press Secretary and Media Analyst in the Defence Minister’s office.
The Office of the Defence Minister pointed out that, inasmuch as the Minister is open to any criticism, SPLM-IO cadres should be mindful of what they say publicly so as not to damage her image.
“Much as the Minister is opened to any constructive criticism, it should be noted that subjective criticisms meant to tarnish her image as a person is not welcomed.”
Lam added that, “Hon. Teny understands the pain caused by the violations against the Security Arrangements not only in Morota but all over South Sudan. These violations are real threats to the R-ARCSS. However, it is important to know which body or structure is responsible for command and control of the forces.”
Article 2.4.2. of R-ARCSS states that “The JDB shall be formed at the Level of Chiefs of Staffs and Directors General of National Security Services, Police and all other organised forces to exercise command and control over all forces during the Pre- Transitional Period”.
Lam explained that the defence minister does not have any command or authority over the forces given that the two sides have different command structures.
“It is therefore, very clear that the Defence Minister doesn’t have any command and control over any force, but as the Defence Minister and a member of the NTC, she has the responsibility to direct the JDB to exercise to arrest the situation on the ground since they are in charge of the forces to the agreement; which she did several times already.”
“Secondly it should be noted that on 7/10/2020, the Minister showed courage by visiting both forces of the SPLA-IO and SSPDF after the first violations in Morota and directed the JDB to investigate the clashes that occurred and bring those responsible to account. This can’t just go unrecognized if we seriously mean to acknowledge ones efforts towards stopping the aggression in Morota,” he noted.
“Furthermore, the notion of looking at forces in cantonment sites and unified Training Centres as under the command of the SPLA-IO or SSPDF is a complete lack of knowledge of the Agreement. The JMCC is tasked with responsibility of the assembly areas, cantonment sites and barracks while the JTSC is responsible for Training Centres. This misunderstanding of the Agreement is the one that is currently causing such unwanted violations.”
“Finally, the Minister of Defence and Veteran’s Affairs, calls for calm and patience while the JDB does its work to arrest the situation in Morota.”
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