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S. Sudan rebel official warns supporters over social media

August 10, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudan rebel chief of general staff, Gen. Gatwech Dual has warned the armed opposition movement supporters against posting on social media information relating to their operations without seeking prior approval from the military spokesperson’s office.

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Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, the chief of staff of the SPLA-IO, talks to the press at a rebel military site in Juba on April 25, 2016 (Photo AFP/Charles Lomodong)

Dual said posting such information on social media could endanger their lives and strategies of their armed forces operating in the fields.

“I am therefore directing you the SPLA (IO) military spokesperson and deputy spokesperson military spokesperson and all the SPLA (IO) sectors, division and brigade media communication officers to strictly adhere to the SPLA (IO) reporting and publication protocals by channeling all military reports and communication directly to the office of the SPLA (IO) military spokesperson and I must be saved with copy before being disseminated and release to any media and the public,” partly reads the statement Sudan Tribune obtained on Thursday.

Dual appealed to SPLM-IO members, supporters and their sympathizers to safeguard the security and safety of the armed opposition forces by not exposing activities on social media forums.

He said posting such information could allow the enemy forces use those details to counter their plans and future operation activities.

“As of now, the office of Brig. Gen William Gatjiath Deng will be the one and only authority responsible for disseminating and releasing the SPLA (IO) military affairs to the media and public,” he stressed.

The warning comes in the wake of the numerous reports that have been circulating on social media from supporters, which detail activities of the rebel movement.

The South Sudanese civil War is a conflict in South Sudan between forces of the government and opposition forces. In December 2013, President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar and ten others of attempting a coup d’état.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and over two million displaced in the country’s worst-ever outbreak of violence since the young nation seceded from Sudan in 2011.