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South Sudan rebels deny missing nine officers in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state


June 12, 2015 (JUBA) - South Sudanese armed opposition fighters allied to the former vice president, Riek Machar, dismissed as “mere propaganda” government’s claims that some of their officers were captured in the recent fighting in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state.

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SPLA in Opposition generals Gatwech Dual (R), Dau Aturjong (C) and Gabriel Tanginye pictured in Pagak on 8 December 2014 (ST)

South Sudanese army (SPLA) spokesman, Colonel Phillip Aguer, said nine officers and some soldiers from the rebels under the overall command of General Dau Aturjong, had been captured and were presently being held at the military headquarters in the area of Wunyiik, located north of the state’s capital, Aweil town.

The officers, according to Aguer, were captured by the government forces in recent clashes in the area over control of some villages in the state.

But Abdallah Kuot, spokesperson of the opposition forces in the area dismissed the claims, saying none of their soldiers was missing and instead accused the government of targeting civilians allegedly supportive of the rebel activities in the area.

“All our forces are [ac]counted for. None of them is absent. The report we are receiving so far is that supporters of the former governor, Paul Malong Awan, who is now the chief of general [staff] of the forces loyal to Salva Kiir, are baselessly accusing innocent civilians in the area to security personnel of being supportive of the freedom fighters,” Kuot told Sudan Tribune on Friday in response to the allegations.

“The security personnel are supposed to conduct their own verification before they act but because the current system is rotten, and which is why we are fighting to correct, they are taking whatever allegations brought to them and they act,” he charged.

The opposition official said nine officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) claimed by the government to have been captured during recent clashes in the area are a “mere propaganda” and cover up for arrested civilians accused of supporting the rebels.

“These reports are not correct. They do not carry any single truth whatsoever. They are part of usual propaganda. Their intention is simply meant to cover what they are doing in the area with innocent civilians,” he said.

He further charged that the culture in the area was that whenever someone didn’t like the other the option to silence opponent was to concoct a story, including coming up with the allegation of being a rebel so that accuser got the support of the security forces.

He said the people arrested by the state government were victims of personal differences, accusing the army chief of general staff, Paul Malong Awan, of being behind the false accusations.

They [victims] have no connection with us. They were just accused by some people and they were arrested. The information we have is that these people were arrested on Saturday when Paul Malong visited Aweil town,” he explained.

Opposition forces commanded by General Dau Aturjong, Awan’s home rival, have started limited military activities in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, but government’s officials downplayed their significance as a force to reckon with.


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  • 13 June 2015 07:19, by Kenyang

    Dau Aturjong history won’t be different of that of Ayii Akol or Kawach Makuei.To credit Kawach & Ayii, they were wise enough to listen to Aweil elders who rejected useless wars. They are yet still paying. Mading Aweil people are peace loving but make no mistake they are vengeful. The desperates who ferried unnecessary war to unnessary place at unnecssary time will pay with their own life.

    repondre message

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