Troika condemns SSPDF attacks on SPLA-IO positions
The Troika countries (United States, United Kingdom, and Norway) in a joint statement on Wednesday condemned the reported attacks by the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) on Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In-Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) positions in Jekau and other towns in Maiwut County, Upper Nile State beginning the weekend of March 19-20.
According to the Troika countries, these incidents follow a series of reported attacks across Unity and Upper Nile states by SSPDF and SSPDF-aligned forces on SPLM/A-IO positions over the last two months.
“The Troika requests the Permanent Ceasefire and Peace Agreement monitoring and verification mechanisms, the Ceasefire, and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) and the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), to provide urgently an assessment of whether these attacks constitute a breach of R-ARCSS and identify those that bear primary responsibility,” the statement read in part.
It added: “Incidents such as these and the resulting cycles of revenge attacks risk greater violence in the country. They also illustrate the destabilizing and pernicious effects of incentivized defections, as these are often followed by armed clashes between defectors and their former comrades in arms.”
The Troika said they are particularly concerned by reported attacks against training centers and cantonment sites, which betray a lack of political will to unify and graduate the Necessary Unified Forces and thereby threaten to undermine the peace agreement.
“We call on the Government of South Sudan to exercise leadership and oversight of the nation’s security forces to maintain discipline and compliance with the peace agreement,” the statement said. “The Troika regrets the decision by SPLM/A-IO to temporarily withdraw its participation from CTSAMVM and R-JMEC and urges all parties to recommit to the R-ARCSS and re-engage in good faith in the Agreement mechanisms.”
According to the trio, with less than a year left of the transitional period, whole-hearted commitment is critical to get us past the finish line.
“Unfortunately, recent events signal the opposite. We are concerned that a continuation down the current path could lead to renewed bouts of fighting and suffering visited upon the people of South Sudan, who have already suffered two wars in their first decade of independence,” the statement concluded. “The Troika will continue to support the parties in their efforts to achieve a stable, peaceful society for all South Sudanese.”