Breaking: SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces clash in Upper Nile State

South Sudan's armed forces holding up their guns a sign of victory | Photo: File
South Sudan's armed forces holding up their guns a sign of victory | Photo: File
South Sudan’s armed forces holding up their guns a sign of victory | Photo: File

Dec 13, 2020 (Thessherald)–In what appears to be a flagrant violation of the Permanent Ceasefire, the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-IO (SPLA-IO) clashed this afternoon in Maban County, Upper Nile state, according to several sources on the ground.

“The SSPDF forces have carried an attack on the SPLA I-O defensive positions in Maban county, Upper Nile State,” said a highly placed source.

Another source disclosed, this evening, that the opposition forces were aware of the planned attack and repulsed the government forces.

“Our forces were fully aware of the attack and repulsed them [attacking forces] back to their barracks,” said a top military officer interviewed this evening by Thessherald.

This is a developing story, check back in a few minutes for more updates!

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.

SPLA-IO commanders demand Machar’s return to the bush

Oct 8, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Inspector General of the Unified Police, John Jock Gai has requested the IGAD, the African Union and the Troika to give the green light and allow Dr. Riek Machar to visit cantonment areas and brief SPLM/A-IO forces on the stalled progress in the implementation of the peace agreement.

Last month, the SPLA-IO Chief of Staff, General Simon Gatwech Dual issued a press statement, calling upon IGAD and other peace guarantors to allow Machar to visit cantonment areas.

“I do hereby express my concern and second what SPLA-IO Chief of General Staff requested that our chairman and commander in Chief of the SPLM/A-IO & FVP Dr. Riek Machar Teny to come to where SPLA-IO forces are [stationed] in order to brief us about what is going on in the Revitalized Peace Agreement,” said the SPLA-IO Inspector General of the Unified Police, John Jock Gai.

“We the SPLA-IO forces do not know why the IGAD, AU and the TROIKA do not allow our chairman to visit us. If we are not part of that peace in Juba, we want the SPLA- IO forces to be clearly informed if there is new developments,” said General John Jock Gai.

“It’s now about a year since the Revitalized Peace agreement was signed and we have seen the implementation stuck which signify a delay tactics and lack of political will from those who don’t want peace to be fully implemented in South Sudan.”

SPLA-IO forces are ready and on alert about things that are going on in Juba, since 2013 up to now, the SPLA-IO forces have been in the bush and have endured to stay ready together with the peace loving people of this Country and this cannot be altered by the love of money. We have learnt the attack that was carried out by the SSPDF against the SPLA-IO forces in Moroto training centre at Kajokeji while its part of the peace agreement for all the warring forces to observe cease fire and gather the training Centers across the Country.”

“The SPLA-IO wanted to know why the SSPDF attacked our forces at the training Centre? It has been stated clearly by SSPDF Spoke person Maj. Gen Lul Ruay Koang that the forces are different though they are in the same training centers. SPLA-IO forces are for peace and have stayed observing their part of ceasefire that was singed as part of the Revitalized Peace Agreement while SSPDF continue to attack SPLA-IO forces.”

“We therefore call upon our Chairman and Commander in Chief H.E. First Vice President of Republic of South Sudan Dr. Riek Machar Teny to come and brief the SPLA-IO Forces. We are. in full respect of Peace and our forces will always be ready to defend itself from any kind of attacks.”

Breaking: SSPDF forces attack SPLA-IO soldiers in Wau : Lam Paul

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