SPLA-IO condemns “conspiracies” against peace process after attack by gov’t allied commander

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SPLA-IO deputy spokesman Col. Lam Paul Gabriel speaks to media about the progress and challenges facing the transitional security arrangement in Juba on October 2, 2019.

South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, SPLA-IO, has this evening issued a statement condemning what it said are conspiracies against the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement after a recently-defected opposition commander attacked its base in Kajo-Keji, allegedly with the help of the SSPDF.

This afternoon, Sudans Post reported about a fierce fighting between SPLA-IO factions in an area in Central Equatoria state’s Kajo-Keji after General Moses Lokujo who defected from the SPLA-IO to the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit last week attacked an SPLA-IO base.

In a statement this evening, Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel, the SPLA-IO deputy spokesman, said forces belong to the former opposition general had issued a four-day ultimatum to the SPLA-IO forces there to vacate a training center, where opposition forces are being cantoned, before attacking this morning.

“This morning the 28/09/2020, at about 6:00 AM, the SPLA-IO reconnaissance unit along Kajo Keji-Morobo road was attacked by forces loyal to Maj. Gen. Moses Lokujo who recently defected to the SSPDF,” the statement extended to Sudans Post reads in part.

“This reconnaissance unit was deployed after Lokujo gave four (4) days ultimatum to the SPLA-IO forces in Kajo Keji to vacate Morota Unified Training Centre and Kajo Keji area or face his current combined forces,” it added.

The statement further denounced the attack which its calls violence and conspiracy against the main armed opposition group aimed at jeopardizing the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

“It should be noted that the SPLA-IO is not against the defections of Lokujo as it is his individual right and freedom of choice, which the leadership cannot dictate upon. However, this intended circle of violence and conspiracies aimed at derailing the implementation of the Security Arrangements will only bring more suffering to the citizens of this country than good,” the statement said.

While reiterating its commitment to the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement and the security arrangements, the SPLA-IO media official urged peace monitors and joint security mechanisms in teh country to investigate the incident.

“The SPLA-IO urges the JMCC and JDB to quickly arrest the situation in Kajo Keji so that the suffering civilians there, will go back home and continue with their normal lives. The SPLA-IO also calls upon the CTSAMVM to investigate this violations and bring those responsible to book,” it said.

“The SPLA-IO remains committed to the implementation of the Peace Agreement,” the statement further added.

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