SPLA-IO urges peace monitors to help release of detained soldiers

By Simon Deng

The armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Army- in opposition (SPLA-IO) has urged the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) and ceasefire monitors, to help release some of their soldiers detained by the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) in Unity State.

The SSPDF has so far released 18 out of the 24 SPLA-IO soldiers it detained on October 19, 2023.

Maj.Gen Kerbino Yai Pazal, the SPLA-IO sector two military spokesperson told The Dawn, the soldiers were arrested on orders of Gordon Koang Biel, the Commissioner   of Koch County.

 “The revitalized peace agreement needs to be respected, sometimes random detention of soldiers can lead to violence, all South Sudanese leaders and the peace guarantors need to intervene to prevent violence,” said Pazal on Thursday.

“We want people to talk about peace, we need peace in the country, we need peace in the state, we need peace in the County, we need peace everywhere, people need to live in peace and harmony,” he added.

In a separate development, Pazal also denied the defection of their soldiers who are claimed to be joining the SSPDF in the state.

The arrest of SPLA-IO soldiers follows the recent defection of the SPLA-IO sector two commander Maj.Gen Simon Maguek Gai with over 200 soldiers to the SSPDF sparking tensions between the two forces, as peace monitors work to unify them into one national army.

 “We do not know why they use the name of SPLA-IO, some of them joined the government two years ago, for example Maj.Gen Wol Wuntit was a former captain who defected in 2021,” Pazal said.

Our attempts to contact the spokesperson of SSPDF division four in Unity State, Captain Abot Wai Abot were futile, as he said he could not speak to us without authorization from his superiors.

Maj.Gen Simon Maguek  Gai who for years commanded the SPLA-IO in the oil -rich Unity state defected to the SSPDF with Maj.Gen Samuel Dok Waljang and Brig.Gen Paul Gonar Ngundeng.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *