SPLA-IO wants peace violators punished; SSPDF deny violating the deal
The Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLM-IO) has demanded that ceasefire violators and perpetrators of war be investigated and held accountable for crimes committed.
Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel, the SPLA-IO deputy military spokesperson said in a press release, “The SPLA-IO recommends the immediate unification of high command and the graduation of by the concerned committee to avoid constant violations.”
The SPLA-IO condemned the most recent attack on Morota Unified Training Centre and also demanded the immediate withdrawal of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) from the SPLA-IO assembly areas of Kerwa, Andejo, Kendiri, Mangalatore, Morota junction, and Morota Unified Training Centre.
“When Maj. Gen. Lokujo defected to the SSPDF in September 2020, he was used and supported to attack the SPLA-IO position of Kerwa, Andejo, and also Morota Unified Training Centre on 28th September 2020, 21st, 26th, and 27th November 2020 taking innocent lives of South Sudanese during peacetime,” Lam said.
He said the SPLA-IO members of the mechanisms came to Juba in December 2018 to implement the Transitional Security Arrangement in good faith and spirit.
“During the first meeting of the Joint Defence Board (JDB) in Juba in December 2018, it was resolved that the security of this country is in the hands of the forces to the agreement (SSPDF, SPLA-IO, and SSOA), Lam said. “Any crime committed in one’s areas of control should be treated as administrative issues but not violations.”
According to Lam, the permanent ceasefire was observed from then until October 2019 in Maiwut when Gen. Ochan Puot defected to the SSPDF and then was used to attack the SPLA-IO cantonment site at Turuw.
However, the acting SSPDF spokesman, Santo Domic, rubbished SPLA-IO claims as untrue and baseless. He told Radio Tamazuj this afternoon that the clashes in Morota, Kajokeji was between SPLA-IO and civilians there.
"The chiefs and youth of Kajokeji wrote a letter addressed to the governor of Central Equatorial State. They said in the letter that the IO are looting the area, they steal cows, chicken, money, goats, rape women in the area. And they were demanding that they do not want IO in Morota, they should be relocated to a different location so that they are far from civilians," he explained. "They also said if the government does not respond to their demands, they will give allow the youth to take the law into their own hands to protect the community. So, when Moses Lokuju resigned and joined SSPDF, some of the soldiers from the SPLA-IO started a campaign to destroy and loot the people of Kajokeji until the people got angry and the youth attacked Morota camp."
Domic categorically stated that the SSPDF was not involved in the clashes in Moroto in any way, adding that the civilians were simply demanding their rights.
"SSPDF has no connection with what happened, not even Major General Lokujo who joined us recently was involved. SSPDF are not peace spoilers. Peace spoilers are those who are looting civilians and provide false information that SSPDF fought in Moroto. SSPDF did not fight in Moroto, let them say the truth," he stressed.
The SSPDF official noted that if the forces to the agreement clash, the Joint Defence Board is mandated to resolve such conflict.