SPLA-IO accuses Dr. Machar’s rebels faction

The Sudan People’s  Liberation Army in opposition (SPLA-IO) under the First Vice President Taban Deng Gai has accused Dr. Riek Machar’s faction of attacking its defensive position in the oilfield of Upper Nile state.

Speaking to the press yesterday, the SPLA-IO Spokesperson, Col. Dickson Gatluak Jok Nyuot said the armed group loyal to Dr. Riek Machar sparked the recent  fighting in Upper Nile, “They attacked the two divisions of the SPLA-IO forces under  Gen.Taban and as well the one under government forces (joint organized forces).

“Based on the recent fighting taking place in Upper Nile, we the SPLA-IO are the victims because the armed group under Machar or under the influence of Machar are using Pangak as a threat to attack our forces in the oilfield,” Col Nyuot said.

He said  in April rebels loyal to Dr. Machar abducted eight foreign nationals working in the oilfield, “You can imagine they came all along from Ethiopia border disturbing the security in the oil area,” Nyuot said.

He stressed that recently the same group launched an attack on their defensive position in the oilfield that forced them to defend themselves yet the forces have to follow rules and regulation especially  the  unilateral ceasefire declared by President Salva Kiir.

“Those forces under Dr. Machar cannot control themselves,” he said. “We told them that they should remain in Pangak and observe the ceasefire until the dialogue starts, but they don’t control themselves”.

“They keep on attacking our defensive position and that is why we have decided to defend ourselves and now we are controlling Matyang and Toch and our forces are heading to Miwut,” Col Nyuot added.

He said they are responding to   the attack because they were not the ones who started the fight.

Meanwhile the Spokesperson of the SPLM-IO, Angel Machar said that the will of President Kiir to declare ceasefire did not meet the same will of Dr. Riek Machar. He said any declaration of the ceasefire the principal forces have the right to self-defense in case one side, has made an attack to the other side.

“In any declaration of ceasefire, you have the right to self-defense. If you tell your soldiers to go on the unilateral ceasefire it means that you did not attack, but in case you are attacked you can defend yourself and in the process of defending yourself, you can pursue your enemies to the point where they came from and this is what is happening in Upper Nile, the ceasefire cannot work when it is one sided,” SPLM-IO spokesperson said.

In the same  press statement, Dickson Gatluak Jok said that  SPLA-IO has started registration exercises  of all its forces in Northern Liech and Southern Liech  states in order for them to be in the cantonment side while waiting for reorganization into the national army.

By Kidega Livingstone

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