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SPLM-IO denies that Gen Juma was one of its commanders

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S Sudan's FVP designate Riek Machar, arrives in his General Headquarters, Pagak. He was received by SPLA-IO's Chief of General Staff, 1st Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, 12 April, 2016 (courtesy photo of SPLM-IO)

August 4, 2017 (JUBA) -South Sudan rebel (SPLM-IO) led by the ex-First Vice President Riek Machar Friday denied claims by Robert Leo Juma he was a Brigadier General in the group before to join the newly established National Salvation Front (NAS).

“The SPLA-IO is dismayed by the claim of a certain Robert Juma that he defected from SPLM-IO to join NAS. The SPLA IO brigade in that area is called Special Brigade, commanded by Gen. John Tongun,” said Col. Lam Paul Gabriel deputy spokesman of SPLA-IO on Friday.

The announcement was seen as a manoeuvre from NAS to bring the SPLA-IO fighters in the Equatoria to join the ranks of the new group under the leadership of Lt. General Thomas Cirillo Swaka.

Col. Gabriel has further accused Juma of seeking to destabilise the rebel group and to encourage its members to desert the armed struggle.

In addition, he slammed the NAS rebels accusing them of not focusing on specific agenda on regime change in South Sudan, adding that their misbehaviour is fuelling other conflicts.

Since NAS’s inception last March, the SPLM-IO sees this group as a threat to its strategy aiming to forge a national alternative with the support of South Sudanese in the Greater Equatoria region against the "tribal regime in Juba".

NAS, which is formed by Equatorians, seeks to recruit its elements in the Greater Equatoria where the SPLM-IO has its fighters and partisans.

Gabriel said the armed opposition led by the former first vice president welcomes any coalition of armed groups that aim to achieve regime change. Also, he warned against seeking to empower the regime in Juba.

“SPLA-IO forces and their leadership do not have any problem with NAS recruiting but they should desist from insulting SPLM/A IO and its leadership yet they are trying to establish bases inside SPLA-IO control areas,” he stressed.

“Demobilizing SPLA-IO forces does not mean a win for NAS but rather a miscalculation that puts the government in Juba at an advantage over the suffering South Sudanese in the refugee camps, the IDP camps, and other places. We can’t rival about who controls Central Equatoria by words but action”.

(ST)

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  • 5 August 14:56, by Redeemer

    Denying your those who have been serving in IO Riek is not new, we are all aware of it. Riek deny them when they fallout of his group

    repondre message

  • 5 August 17:51, by Lenin Bull

    SPLA-IO is fighting for Riek’s position in government as alleged to have been prophesied by NGUNDAENG Bong 200 years ago. The same good prophet did not get a word from God for Equatorians, or any other tribes. To what benefit is it for Equatorians to join the IO and sacrifice lives and limbs?

    repondre message

  • 5 August 17:54, by Lenin Bull

    Folks let us be wise and not dumbskull. Equatorians should just relax and wait for their chance is coming definitely.

    repondre message

  • 5 August 20:00, by john locke

    We the IO would never lie about who has served in our ranks. That man has not. We are not like youre leader kiir who denies everything. From lying about capturing pagak to lying about the death of ome of our generals. Kiirs movement is slowly dyi ng as people are losing faith in his movement. Only thieves and liars are still with kiir. He even arrwsted malong after saying they resolved their issue

    repondre message

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