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TENSION IS RUNNING HIGH BETWEEN SSPDF AND SPLA-IO AT ASWA CANTONMENT SITE

Nimule, 13 Sept 2021: Tension is running high at Aswa Cantonment site between South Sudan People's Defense Forces (SSPDF) and forces of SPLA-IO. The problem started Saturday after the SSPDF from notorious presidential guard unity ( the Tiger Battalion) arrested, detained, and tortured Col Julius Ojja an officer in charge of security at the SPLA-IO cantonment site. 

According to Brig.Gen.Okeny George M.Lam, Anya-Nya Division Commander at Aswa Cantonment site, Col Julius Ojja was arrested, tortured, and detained at the interrogation site of National Security Services located in Jeleyi in the outskirt of Nimule. 

Col Ojja was said to have been arrested with two other individuals including the chief of Loa Boma, Taban James Vuga,  Loa Boma chief Taban James and Joseph Acika were released after they were beaten and tortured by the NSS with the order of LT Col Atem who is an officer in charge of NSS based in Jeleyi. 

 Col.Ojja according to Brig general Okeny George, was badly tortured and shot at his right hand by the Security forces while he was at their detention with hand curved and since then, his whereabouts remained unknown, other sources said he could have been taken to a secret location in army barrack in Nimule, however, this cannot independently be verified whether he is alive or dead. 

This afternoon senior officer from the Aswa Cantonment site who asked for his identity not to be revealed because of the sensitivity of the matter and he is not authorized to speak to the media, said leadership from different levels are involved including Gov. Louis Lonong of EES and other senior officials to secure the immediate release of Col Ojja. 

The official could not, however, deluge the details and reasons why Col Julius who is a well-known officer could be arrested and tortured by NSS at the time President Kiir and Machar are working to unify their forces. 

It is not immediately clear what could be the ramifications of Col Ojja's arrest leading to his torture. 

Previously the SPLA-IO Anya-Nya Division-based in Pageri Corridor have fought bitterly in several battles including the ten minutes captured of Nyongwa SPLA barrack by SPLA-IO. The two archenemies only for first the time came face to face during a normalization meeting facilitated by UNMISS which took place in Pageri in Nimule in 2019. 

Andrew Olweny 

SSLN 

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