JUBA – South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) faction led by President Salva Kiir Mayardit has accused the main armed opposition SPLM-IO led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny of expelling its top official in Panyijiar County of southern Unity State.
SPLM Secretary in Unity State Doctor Chuoryier claimed in an interview with Radio Tamazuj that at least 34 members including the chairman of the ruling SPLM faction in Panyijiar County were arrested before they were released with the exception of the chairman who was later on “deported” to Juba.
“Our members were arrested by the commissioner of Panyijiar County without much concern. On 13 October, the commissioner of Panyijiar started with the confiscation of SPLM T-shirts on the arrival of our members in Panyijiar County,” Samaan is quoted by Radio Tamazuj as saying.
For his part, the SPLM chairman in Panyijiar County Peter Gatkoi Biliew claimed that he was forced into a plane in Panyijiar by the SPLM-IO-nominated commissioner and was forced to go to Juba just last week.
“On 23 October, they deported me to Juba, I am now in Juba, and I will not return to Panyijiar because the commissioner is not for peace. The commissioner is not giving other parties a space to do their activities in the county,” he said.
“The number of our members under detention in unknown locations is five. The rest have been released. Mathiang Degay, the Secretary General of SPLM in Panyijar County, Mading Manychuol Gatluok, the chairman of SPLM Youth League in Panyijiar and three others are still in detention,” he added.
For his part, the SPLM-IO Secretary General in Unity state, William Gai Riak, refuted the claims that SPLM members were arrested in Panyijiar County.
“We didn’t arrest anyone in Panyijiar County. Those are just allegations. I spoke with the commissioner of Panyijiar County, and he said nobody was arrested. It’s a lie from SPLM in Panyijiar,” he said.