By Brigadier General William Gatjiath Deng
Spokesperson for SPLA-IO, Pagak GHQs
Sunday July 30, 2017
For the last one month or so, after blindfolding the African Union, United Nations, the Troika and indeed the international community with the so called unilateral ceasefire, General Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) regime in Juba have been extremely busy struggling and directing the offensives against civilian targets and SPLM-SPLA (IO) positions across South Sudan, including in and around Maiwut.
The purpose of the nationwide offensive is to depopulate civilian population, woo dubious oil investments, capture Mawuit and Pagak.
Indeed, in the ongoing fighting in and around Maiwut, the Juba regime soldiers have been targeting civilians, looting properties, burning down villages, raping and killing women and children, and forcing thousands to flee for their dear lives.
The Juba regime have also continued to shell, bombard and carry out air raids on the innocent and defenceless civilian targets in the area.
As of now, more than thirty civilians, including women and children have been killed and many more injured. In addition, some one hundred and thirty three (130) tukuls and makeshift houses have been looted and burnt to the ground by the regime. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) building has also been destroyed and lifesaving items burnt to ashes.
It is in response to this aggression that the gallant SPLA-IO forces have been resisting the Juba regime aggression in and around Maiwut, killing many and capturing a good number of newly acquired guns and ammunitions. At the time of the press, the Juba regime soldiers, after being lured into one Maiwut suburb on July 27, 2017, have now been surrounded from all directions. We will keep the public updated on the new developments.
On the other hand, the declaration by Lt. General John Kenyi Loburon as non-SPLA (IO) officer has absolutely no bearing on the gallant SPLA (IO) forces in Central Equatoria.
General Loburon declared his allegiance to an Addis Ababa-based basedparty for mere personal reasons and we in the SPLA (IO) thank him for his contribution in the SPLA (IO) and wish him the best.
That General John Kenyi Loburon controls any area in Central Equatoria is a lie. That General Loburon defected with some forces other than himself is also a lie. That he has any non-SPLM/A (IO) base anywhere in Central Equatoria is another malicious lie, and we in the SPLM-SPLA (IO) strongly condemn this false and misleading media campaign.
The SPLM/A (IO) also refutes and condemns with contempt it deserves the false, baseless and misleading publication on the online Sudan Tribune of yesterday July 29, 2017 by a group calling themselves “Jikany Nuer Community in Ethiopia” who claimed that our very own brave General James Khor Chuol Giet, General Thok Chuol Luak, General Thok Chuol Liey and General Stephen Pal Kun Kek joined the Juba regime.
These Generals are preoccupied with their normal command duties, and we urge all the SPLM-SPLA (IO) members, supporters and sympathizers to remain focus and not succumb to this blackmail or/and any other malicious circulations.
Furthermore, the SPLM-SPLA (IO) condemns in the strongest terms the recent attacks by the Juba regime forces on our positions in Adar, Liech, Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria and Raja States.
In any case, the SPLM-SPLA (IO) would like to once again remind the people of South Sudan, the African Union (AU), the Troika, the United Nations (UN) and indeed the international community that General Salva Kiir Mayardit, unlike Dr Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, is not and will never be a man of a peace.
That the said unilateral ceasefire he declared, after strangling to death the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) in July 2016, was only intended to solicit financial support for the brutal and ruthless ethnocentric regime in Juba and to divert the attention of the world community from their long-held intention to maintain power and control over South Sudan and her wealth and resources through autocratic, authoritarian and military means.
In particular, the SPLM-SPLA (IO) would also like to inform the people of South Sudan and the world community that while General Salva Kiir Mayardit and his ethnocentric regime are denying the poor soldiers who are now languishing and dying in the frontlines their salaries, the same General Salva Kiir and his regime in Juba are very busy looting and emptying the residual revenue from the oil and stashing it away in secret and private foreign accounts, as they are preparing to run from the very country they have now torn apart and destroyed completely.
No wonder, as recently as two weeks ago, General Salva Kiir Mayardit and the JCE directed their Press Secretary at the Jieng One (J-1), namely Ateny Wek Ateny, to go on shopping spree and purchase a grand villa worth more than 3 million US dollars in Australia to accommodate the fleeing Juba regime elements and officials.
This is in addition to Michael Makwei Lueth, the JCE Spokesman of the Juba regime, who had just bought another multimillion dollar villa in a neighbouring country, soon after declaring no confidence in the same Juba regime he still serves as Minister of lies and misinformation. We call upon the regime and its allies to abandon their addiction to a military solution and to accept to return to the negotiating table to end the conflict peacefully.