SPLA-IO soldiers in Pagak/photo: SSNA
SPLM/A-IO, the main armed rebel movement is now accusing the government of South Sudan of violating R-ARCSS.
In a press statement seen Ramciel Broadcasting, Col. Lam Pual Gabriel, the military wing spokesperson of the Movement, said the government has violated the agreement by attacking their position in Wau, Western Bar El ghazel state.
Lam categorically stated that the government attacked their position on Saturday of 18, 2020, at around 11:30 am.
“On Saturday 18/07/2020, at about 11:30 AM, 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.”
He believes the attack was intentional because, despite the IO soldiers trying to communicate a positive message of peace with their counterpart, the government commander ordered the arrest of the IO soldiers including their head of command.
“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.”
As a result, the SPLA-IO soldiers responded swiftly and quickly by blocking all roads between Wau and Tonji and arrest some 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 the 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.”
He said the SPLA-IO agreed to the idea of disarming the civilians under the government control but not those under the control of the rebels.
“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.”
He, however, asked the civilians to remain calm and the misunderstanding is being handled by the leadership pf both factions 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.
He said the movement is now calling upon the concern partners to the peace agreement to investigate the incidence with immediate its deserved.