January 6-2018; The deputy military spokesperson of SPLA-IO, col Lam Paul Gabriel on Saturday issued statement categorically refuted the attack in Kafuri and Gurei in the suburbs of nation's capital Juba on Thursday night. Lam said it is purely fighting among the regime forces, there is disgruntled soldiers who are discontented with the way how Kiir and his cliques are using them to achieve their personal profit.
Lam in his statement said the section of the government soldiers who expressed their discontentment fought with the loyalist before moving away from the barracks, and since then the defected soldiers have not declare their intention to join the SPLA-IO. It is assumed the defected soldiers could be the supporters of the former Army chief Paul Malong Awan who is now in Nairobi Kenya.
“The SPLA IO strongly refutes the accusation made by the Juba regime’s Spokesperson Gen Lul Ruai that Lt Col. Chan Garang attacked government post in Juba on 4/01/2018 at about 10:00pm. This is absolutely baseless and an excuse to find a way to derail the upcoming peace process.
Lt Col. Chan Garang Lual is not a separate entity from the SPLA IO. He is within the command structure of the SPLA IO. Lt Col. Chan never left his base since he joined SPLA IO last year. Therefore claiming that he attacked Juba on 4/01/2018 is just a direct false accusation on the SPLA IO which amounts to violations of the signed CoH.
The SPLA IO is also dismayed by the way Radio Tamazuj reported this event; even after this office communicated to them(Tamazuj) refuting the claim that Chan Garang attacked a government post in Juba. We strongly urge media outlets to avoid being under the influence of government agents whose agenda is to promote tribalism, sectarianism and corruption in South Sudan.
The SPLA IO distances itself from the attack in Juba. That fight was among the regime’s forces; those who defected have not yet declared their intention, so, linking them to the SPLA IO immediately is fallacious and an act of cowardice from the regime.
The government in Juba should accept the fact that there are disgruntled soldiers among it’s forces that will continue to defect to fight for a just course. Many government soldiers are realizing that they are being used by Kiir and his cliques to achieve personal and tribal agenda other than the national agenda. Salva Kiir should stop his tribal mindset and accept peace to prevail”.
Col. Lam Paul Gabriel
SPLA IO Deputy Military Spokesperson