Civil Society Alliance rebukes Buay’s rebels for attacking civilians

South Sudan Civil Society Alliance has condemned the recent brutal killing of Mayom County Commissioner following an attack on his home and the town.

On July 22, Commissioner James Chuol Gatluak Manime was reportedly burnt in his house with 2 bodyguards during the 2 AM surprise attack by rebels. 10 others were also killed, including SSPDF soldiers.

The rebel group called South Sudan People’s Movement/South Sudan People’s Army claimed responsibility for the attack. SSPM/SSPA is led by Stephen Buay Rolnyang, a former army General who was disgracefully dismissed by the SSPDF in 2019.

Residents of Mayom said the attackers also destroyed vehicles, and looted properties and money from Mayom market.

On July 26, the rebels again ambushed a military convoy traveling to Mayom County leaving 15 soldiers dead. SSPM/SSPA in a statement seen by TRC has threatened to attack the oil fields.

Activist have castigated the SSPM/SSPA for the unwarranted attacks. According to the chairperson of the South Sudan Civil Society Alliance, the rebel group is jeopardizing peace by also attacking civilians and their property.

“It’s very unfortunate that the rebels are taking the lives of civilians in Mayom County. We condemn that attack on civilians…there is no need to destroy public installations and institutions including the resources of the people of South Sudan –that is oil fields,” Akuoch Ajang Nyanhom stated in a press conference in Juba on Wednesday.

This week, the SSPM/SSPA in another statement threatened to shoot down any commercial plane flying over areas where they are active in Unity state.

“We have learned that the new movement has warned civilians specially the commercial airlines in Unity state and the same movement has also mobilized their soldiers to damage oil fields…this is very unbecoming and sad because any…movement that is intending to destroy public installations especially oil fields, is [not] fighting on behalf of the people of South Sudan,” Ajang added.

The alliance urged the government and the new movement to respect the sanctity of life and embrace peaceful resolution of conflicts.