SPLA-IO protests ‘arrests’ of generalsSPLA-IO protests ‘arrests’ of generalsThe main armed opposition, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO), has accused the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces(SSPDF) of arresting and torturing its generals.
88They said the whereabouts of some of their officers remained unknown.
Maj. Gen. Martin Abucha, a representative of the SPLA-IO in the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM), said the acts were committed in the Eastern and Western Equatoria States.
He said the incidents were a clear indication of a lack of honesty by their partners, the SSPDF, at a time when parties to the 2018 revitalised peace agreement were struggling to forge trust to end wars and allow citizens to rebuild their lost livelihoods.
“Today we have come here again to review what has happened in the last month. I am glad to see ceasefire holding as reported, but I am still disappointed that there are still violations, specifically arrest, torture, detention of, particularly SPLA-IO officers, “
“The incident in Easter Equatoria State reminds us that our colleagues on the other side are not truthful to us. They continue to arrest our officers and we don’t know where they are. Unfortunately, in Western Equatoria State, one of our officers, a member of CTSAMVM, was tortured very, very badly,” Maj. Gen. Abucha said.
Maj. Gen. Abucha was speaking during the opening remarks of the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) technical meeting at the Dembesh Hotel in Juba on Thursday.
The circumstances behind the acts and the period of the incidences were not disclosed by Maj. Gen. Abucha.
However, CTSAMVM Chairperson, Maj. Gen. Teshome Gemechu Aderie, confirmed the incident in Eastern Equatoria State, saying it constituted a violation of the agreement by the SSPDF.
“Our briefing also includes one violation report concerning the arrest and detention of one SPLM/A-IO officer as well as two civilians by SSPDF in Eastern Equatoria in September 2021. These actions by the SSPDF constitute a violation of the R-ARCSS, ” Maj. Gen. Gemechu said.
The SSPDF was yet to respond to the claim raised by the SPLA-IO and the peace monitoring body.
However, the SPLM/A-IO has also accused their partners in the ruling party, SPLM, of intimidation, torture, and disruption of their activities in some parts of the country.
In October, SPLM-IO members in the national parliament accused the Warrap State government of intimidating and hindering their political activities, threatening they would withdraw from the state government should the government fail to address the matter immediately.
“We the members of the parliament in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and Council of State from Warrap, are hereby protesting against the mistreatment and intimidation of our members in Warrap State. If no change in the situation, our members will withdraw from the state or request protection by UNMISS,’’ said a Member of Parliament, Yolanda Awel Deng, in a press statement on behalf of her colleagues.
“It is important for the public to know that what is happening in Warrap State is a violation of the R-ARCSS and must be addressed immediately. These acts are against the peace in the country, ” he added.
But the Warrap State Governor Aleu Ayieny Aleu lashed out at the SPLM/A-IO claims, saying he was devoted to serving the people irrespective of their parties and would not subscribe to party politics.
“The members of the SPLM-IO need to be reminded that I was tasked by peace partners to implement the agreement.” Therefore, I do not consider myself an SPLM-IG but a representative of all the peace partners in the state,” he said, in response to the claims.
Aleu said he was focused on the implementation of the peace agreement and that the legislators were being insincere.
He said: “I have been in constant consultative contact with the Chairman of the SPLM-IO and First Vice President, Dr Riek Machar, and by agreement with him, has dispatched (on October 12, 2021) the SPLM-IO State Chairman to Kuajok – on my invitation. All of this happened before the sudden uproar of the SPLM-IO MPs in Juba.’’
The opposition also made a similar claim in October, accusing pro-government security personnel of disrupting a meeting of SPLM-IO in Northern Bahr El Ghazal State meant to discuss their party’s affairs.
The SPLM-IO Director for Information and Public Relations, Puok Both Baluang, condemned the move and termed it a barbaric attack that violated the peace accord.
“First of all, our members were conducting a meeting on the affairs of the party and discussing issues related to the implementation of the peace agreement; not something illegal,” said
“We believe that the move was politically motivated by some elements in Aweil, but I want to remind everyone in the country that we are a part of the peace agreement,” he emphasised.
Via The City Review