Breaking: Top SPLA-IO commander killed in surprise attack, forces dislodged

SPLA-IO forces dislodged, five soldiers killed in an attack | Thessherald

Juba—The main armed opposition group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In- Opposition, came under a surprise attack on Monday, leaving at least five soldiers dead and a senior commander in charge of Lowereng cantonment area.

“On 22/03/2021 in the morning hours, the SPLA-IO cantonment site of Lowereng was attacked and burned down,” said Lam Paul Gabriel, SPLA-IO Deputy Military Spokesperson.

The senior military officer said that, although the attackers had not yet been verified, the aggression constitutes a breach of the permanent ceasefire signed by the parties in September 2018.

“This surprised attack led to the lost of five SPLA-IO soldiers including the commander of the cantonment site. Much as the attackers are yet unknown, this attack amounts to violations of the permanent ceasefire that needs to be investigated.”

The SPLM/A-IO calls on peace monitors to investigate the ongoing violations of the peace ceasefire and hold those responsible to account.

“The SPLA-IO calls upon the JDB and CTSAMVM to investigate this aggression and bring those responsible to books. The SPLA-IO remains committed to the implementation of the Security Arrangements but has the right to self defence.”

South Sudan’s government and the opposition signed a permanent ceasefire in Addis Ababa and re-committed to the cessation of hostilities. However, sporadic attacks and intercommunal violence remain an issue of concern.

Breaking: Fierce fighting erupts between SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces in Bankida

Fierce fighting broke out on January 26, 2020 between the SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces in Upper Nile State |Photo: Via Facebook

Fierce fighting broke out this morning between the SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces in Bankida, Upper Nile State, according to Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, SPLA-IO Deputy Military Spokesperson.

“This morning the 26/01/2021 at about 8:00AM, a combined force of National Security forces, Tiger and the SSPDF attacked the SPLA-IO assembly area of Bankida in complete violations of the Permanent ceasefire.”

“The SPLA-IO forces tactically withdrew from Bankida on directives from the SPLA-IO High Command,” he added.

The main opposition group strongly condemned the flagrant violation of the Permanent Ceasefire and called on SSPDF forces to withdraw from the area.

“The SPLA-IO strongly condemn[s] this constant suicidal act of aggression against its forces and positions by forces of the SPLM-IG; and, is therefore, demanding a complete withdrawal of this combined force from Bankida as soon as possible to avoid the escalation of this provocative attack.”

“The SPLA-IO remains committed to the implementation of the Security Arrangements in particular and the R-ARCSS in general but it holds the right to self defence when attacked.”

Pro-government commander Gen. Moses Lokujo attacks SPLM-IO forces

Defiant militia commander, General Moses Lokujo attacks SPLA-IO’s forces in Yei |Photo: File
Defiant militia commander, General Moses Lokujo attacks SPLA-IO’s forces in Yei |Photo: File

Nov 26, 2020 (Thessherald)–A pro-government militia commander, General Moses Lokujo, has been accused of carrying out an attack on opposition forces at their training centers, according to a statement issued by Lam Paul Gabriel, SPLA-IO’s Deputy Military Spokesperson.

The main armed opposition said the recent attack on its forces was a breach of the Permanent Ceasefire and indicated a worse development in a country that has seen a relative calm since 2018.

“This morning the 26/11/2020, at about 6:00am, the defected force of Maj. Gen. Moses Lokujo who is now under the command and control of the SSPDF attacked the SPLA-IO component of Protection force for Morota Unified Training Centre, in complete violation of the permanent ceasefire.”

“The attacking force killed one SPLA-IO soldier and wounded two others, while clashes is still ongoing as they planned to overrun the Training Centre.”

The SPLM/A-IO called upon the SSPDF command to monitor the provocations of Maj. Gen. Lokujo against its forces, which are currently undergoing training at designated cantonment areas in the Equatoria region.

“The SPLA-IO leadership calls upon the SSPDF command to restrain Maj. Gen. Lokuj (who is currently under the command and control of the SSPDF), from the continuous aggression against the SPLA-IO forces in the greater Yei area.”

“It should also be noted that the forces in Morota Training Centre are not only SPLA-IO forces but a component of the unified forces under the command and control of the JTSC and JDB. Therefore, attacking this force is not only a violation but a direct attack against the Security Arrangement in particular and the R-ARCSS in general.”

The group urged the CTSAMVM to investigate the recent attack and hold Maj. Gen. Lokujo’s forces responsible for violating the Permanent Ceasefire.

“The SPLA-IO therefore, calls upon the CTSAMVM and JDB to investigate this violation and bring those responsible to book as soon as possible.”

This is the second time that the defiant commander has attempted to push the country into another conflict by attacking opposition forces at their bases.

SSPDF forces planning all-out war against SPLM/A-IO: Gen. Gatjiath

General Gatjiath and other top SPLM/A-IO| Photo: File

October 5, 2020 (Thessherald)–The SPLA-IO’s Military Spokesperson, Brig. General William Gatjiath Deng has alleged that the SSPDF forces are planning to launch a military offensive against opposition troops in their defensive positions across the country.

The comes amid reports of clashes between the SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces in Kajo-Keji County, Central Equatoria, an area that has become a hotspot in recent days.

“The South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF), escalated again another attack on the SPLA (IO) forces at the same training centre at Moroto, this morning at around 7:00AM, East African Time,” said Brigadier General William Gatjiath Deng.

Gatjiath claimed that the SSPDF forces were forced to fight back in self-defense and killed dozens of attackers.

“The SPLA (IO) forces led by Cdr.Brig.Gen Peter Wal Chuol, responded with an excessive force and the attackers undoubtedly repulsed, pursued and desperately scattered in disarray with a big lost both human and military equipment left exposed at the war field.”

“The leadership of the SPLA (IO) has learned that the regime is currently plotting a serious move to jeopardise the already fragile peace agreement championing in Juba with little hope to end the deadlocks or meet expectations and it’s true that the regime is not ready to end the long suffering of the people of South Sudan since they still ordering multiple attacks on the SPLA (IO) military garrisons.”

“CTSAMM, or Verifications team, were sent from Juba two (2) days ago to “Moroto” in order to checkout what had happened at the training centre and of course, the team got concrete evidences from the field commanders as they found dead bodies and even those who were caught lives at the war field and they went back to Juba knowing that the regime has been the ones carried sporadic attack on the SPLA (IO) base and the team had promised that there would be no more attack against your bases.”

“The movement wouldn’t allow such kinds of inconveniences created purposely by the regime to end the movement, therefore, we must act boldly once we are attacked.”

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement / Army (SPLM/A-IO) called on the CTSAMVM carry out an investigation into the reported incidents in Kajo-Keji.

“We don’t condone criminality,” SSPDF chief warns Gen. Moses Lokujo

General Johnson Juma Okot, Chief of the SSPDF speaks to a contact during Shirkat incident |Photo: Thessherald.

Oct 1, 2020 (Thessherald)—The chief of the South Sudan’s People Defence Forces (SSPDF), Gen. Johnson Juma Okot who’s also Co-chair of the Joint Defense Board (JDB) has warned the newly defected commander, Maj. Gen. Moses Lokujo against returning the country to war.

Gen. JJ Okot made the remarks on Tuesday while addressing the nation on what had transpired in Kajo-Keji between the SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces.

Gen. Okot pointed out that the SSPDF has well-established command structures and does not condone behavior that amounts to criminality and indiscipline.

“These forces had broken away from the SPLM/A-IO and joined the SSPDF – we don’t condone criminality, we don’t condone insubordinate behavior, we don’t condone people who take laws into their own hands. We have structures… we have laws that governs our conduct of operations,” said Gen. Johnson Juma in a joint press conference on Tuesday.

The Joint Defense Board (JDB) – a body charged with overseeing the operations of the armed forces, called on the general public to remain calm while investigating the matter and summoning the ring leaders.

Major-General Moses Lokujo and other accomplices are reported to have arrived in Juba this morning after being summoned for investigation.

Breaking: Defector Maj. Gen Moses Lokujo summoned in Juba

Sept 30, 2020 (Thessherald)–The SPLM/A-IO’s former senior commander, Maj. Gen. Moses Lokujo, has been ordered to report himself in Juba two days after his forces – combined with the SSPDF – clashed with SPLA-IO forces in Kajo-Keji, Central Equatoria.

This comes after the Joint Defense Board, a joint military mechanism charged with command and control of the warring forces, held an emergency meeting on the ongoing military confrontations in the Equatoria region.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Johson Juma Okot called on all organised forces in the Equatoria region to desist from escalating violence and abide by the Permanent Ceasefire.

Earlier this week, there was a series of clashes between the belligerent forces, resulting in the displacement of the civilian population in the area.

However, since the signing of the Peace Agreement in September 2018, the Cessation of Hostility Agreement signed by the main signatories has been strictly adhered to – indicating their sincere commitment to the peace agreement.

Implementation of outstanding issues

Currently, despite major achievements and progress made in the implementation of the peace deal, a number of provisions remain unimplemented, casting doubts on the commitment of the Parties.

Some of the pending Tasks include:

1) Nomination and formation of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNL) and their positions at the State and Local levels.

2) Security Arrangements: South Sudan’s Parties are required to canton, train and unify the Necessary Unified forces (NUFs) before they can be deployed in various parts of the country. However, this Task has remained unmet over lack of funding from the international community and peace mediators.

S. Sudan’s peace in limbo as SSPDF forces clash with SPLA-IO troops

Lam Paul Gabriel, SPLA-IO Deputy Military Spokesperson briefs the media in Juba |Photo: Lam Paul
Lam Paul Gabriel, SPLA-IO Deputy Military Spokesperson briefs the media in Juba |Photo: Lam Paul

Sept 28, 2020 (Thessherald)–The SSPDF forces and opposition troops have traded accusations over a breach of a Permanent Ceasefire in Kajo-Keji County, Central Equatoria.

Lam Paul Gabriel, a senior opposition officer and Spokesperson for the SPLA-IO reported that their forces came under heavy attacks by SSPDF soldiers this morning, resulting in the death of dozens of soldiers on both sides.

“This morning the 28/09/2020, at about 6:00AM, the SPLA-IO reconnaissance unit along Kajo Keji-Morobo road was attacked by forces loyal to Maj. Gen. Moses Lokujo who recently defected to the SSPDF. This reconnaissance unit was deployed after Lokujo gave four (4) days ultimatum to the SPLA-IO forces in Kajo Keji to vacate Morota Unified Training Tentre and Kajo Keji area or face his current combined forces,” Lam explained.

“It should be noted that the SPLA-IO is not against the defections of Lokujo as it is his individual right and freedom of choice, which the leadership cannot dictate upon. However, this intended circle of violence and conspiracies aimed at derailing the implementation of the Security Arrangements will only bring more suffering to the citizens of this country than good.”

The main armed opposition group called on the CTSAMVM – a peace monitoring body – to independently investigate the matter before the situation gets out of hand.

“The SPLA-IO urges the JMCC and JDB to quickly arrest the situation in Kajo Keji so that the suffering civilians there, will go back home and continue with their normal lives. The SPLA-IO also calls upon the CTSAMVM to investigate this violations and bring those responsible to book.”

The SPLM/A-IO said it remains committed to the Permanent Ceasefire signed by the parties.

“The SPLA-IO remains committed to the implementation of the Peace Agreement. Peace.”