SPLM/A-IO accuses South Sudan gov’t of deploying heavily armed forces in Maiwut



South Sudan’s solder prepares to shoot an RPG-7 anti-tank grenade launcher (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia) 

September 26th 2019 (Nyamilepedia)-South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, SPLM/AIO, has accused South Sudan government of deploying more troops and heavy artillery, including armoured personnel carriers (APCs) in Maiwut and its surrounding areas following the defection of Major General Ochan Puot and his forces.

“On Deployment of the Government Forces in Civilian Centres in Maiwut area. Following the defection of General James Ochan Puot, the government of South Sudan has deployed its forces in civilian centers that are administered by the SPLM/SPLA (IO) in the following areas.”

  • 1. Maiwut
  • 2. Jotome;
  • 3. Wiechluak Jaak.

In an unexpected turn of events, the main opposition group further accused South Sudan’s government of reinforcing its troops and deploying more heavy artillery in Nasir and Bentiu, in violations of the R-ARCSS.

“Recently, we observed that the government of South Sudan has also deployed new Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), for instance, two (2) APCs in Nasir and six (6) in Bentiu. They also have been reinforcing their forces in various fronts with ammunitions and weapons in all South Sudan.”

In a statement seen by Nyamilepedia, the SPLM (IO) Director for Information and Public Relations, Puok Both Baluang pointed out that, these developments are contrary to the spirit of the peace process and constitute a breach of the R-ARCSS.

“The aforementioned incidents are grave violations to the Revitalized Peace Agreement. Furthermore, it is also a demonstration of bad faith on the part of government.” Adding that, “The SPLM/SPLA (IO) therefore, calls upon the government to withdraw their forces from the aforementioned Civilian Centres in Maiwut area to its barracks in Pagak in accordance with the agreement.”

The group called on ceasefire monitors to conduct an independent investigation into these incidents, which could hamper the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

“We also call upon CTSAMVM and JMCC to immediately investigate these violations which pose a threat to the Implementation of the peace agreement. The SPLM/SPLA (IO) reiterates its full commitment to the implementation of the (R-ARCSS), in letter and spirit, as the only way to attain lasting peace in South Sudan.”

South Sudan government and opposition groups signed a peace agreement in September last year, in a bid to end years of conflict that has killed thousands of people and forced millions to flee the country.

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