SSPDF and SPLA-IO trade blames over ongoing clashes in Longechuk.
AUTHOR: LOSIKE ELIA | PUBLISHED: March 24, 2022
Col. Lam Paul Gabriel SPLM/IO Spokesperson
South Sudan people defense force ( SSPDF) and the Sudan people liberation army in opposition (SPLM/A/IO) trade blame in fresh fighting in Longechuk County in Upper Nile State. The fighting erupted on Thursday morning between the two main parties to the 2018 Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan.
Major Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, is the SSPDF spokesperson. He accused the SPLM/IO of attacking their defensive positions as clashes continuing at the time.
“In the morning, the IO attacked our positions in Malual Gahoth in Upper Nile State and they are also in preparations to attack other areas like Pagak, Maiwut and Turru. We do not have much information for now”, said Gen. Lul.
He said they declared it by mouth and now have done it practically.
This week the SPLM/A-IO suspended their participation in the security mechanisms meetings, saying they are left out in the implementation of the peace agreement.
He said the SPLM /IO forces continued to attacks despite numerous reports to the security mechanisms. Gen. Lul said it will be difficult to dialogue with SPLM/A-IO as long fighting continue and have suspended their participation in the security mechanisms.
“If they want the peace agreement to go ahead, they should stop fighting and attacking our forces in their positions. They should not say they will not attend any meetings for the security mechanisms.” said Lul.
Responding to the allegations, the SPLA-IO spokesperson Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel said the SSPDF forces attacked their defensive positions in Guol, in Longechuk County.
“They started fighting us. This is our area. Guol is under our control. They attacked us in Longechuk, not in Maiwut. The fighting is going on, they are even planning to attack us in Mathiang. They have sent their military tanks to attack us in Mathiang,” he claimed.
Paul said their forces positions in different parts of the country continued to being attack without ceasing.
“We left because they have been fighting us all the time. They have attacked most of our positions. If we are in peace let us not fight each other. Why are they attacking our positions every time? We did not declare war, they are the ones who declared war,” he said.
He says, “they have left the RJMEC, the guarantors if it is good for us to go back to war or not, let them see.”
On Wednesday, the Troika countries (United States, United Kingdom, and Norway) in a joint statement condemned the reported attacks by SSPDF on SPLM/A-IO positions in Jekau and other towns in Maiwut County of Upper Nile State over the weekend.
The Troika, said 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.