Home | News    Saturday 13 January 2018

SPLA-IO confirms POWs release, accuses Juba of continued attacks

South Sudan's army soldiers drive in a truck on the frontline in Panakuach, Unity state April 24, 2012. (Reuters Photo)
January 12, 2018 (JUBA) - Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) says three of the war prisoners have been released on Thursday and handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Western Bar El Gazal.

South Sudan armed opposition also accused the government forces of continuing to attack their position in different locations in the southern and north-eastern parts of the country.

Col. Lam Paul Gabriel a deputy rebel spokesperson says the release of war prisoners came into effect after an official instruction from Machar.

“The Chairman and Commander in Chief of the SPLM/A-IO Dr Riek Machar Teny have officially directed the SPLA-IO forces to release all POW and Political detainees as mentioned in the CoH agreement effective on 09/01/2018,” the statement read.

He says the released POW include Angelo Besensio Mangu, Anthony Jabakana, and Natale Arkangelo Bandas. All were handed to ICRC at 14:45 hours on 11 January 2018.

Continuous Violation of ceasefire

The rebel spokesperson accused the government forces of several violations across the country in violation of the cessation of hostilities signed by the fighting parties in South Sudan.

On Thursday 11 January the government forces, according to Gabriel, attacked the SPLA-IO positions in Yei River State around Kergulu and Lasu in the between 8:00am and 9:00 am.

He further claimed that a convoy under command of First Vice President Gen. Taban Deng Gai have reached Yuai and started a military campaign against the SPLA-IO positions in Bieh State.

The rebel official added the government forces on Friday attacked targeted Juet through Payai, and Pieri after receiving their ammunition.

Meanwhile, in Fashoda state at 10:00 am, he says the government forces attacked the SPLA-IO position in Pakuah between Malakal and Tonga. However, the attackers have been repulsed with heavy casualties, he said.

He further mentioned another attack in Liech State on Friday saying the fighting took place in Liech State at about 8:00 am at around Boaw in Koch county.

Also, he said the fighting still intensive until yesterday evening in the oil field around Koch south of Bentiu town.

He blamed the government for starting the violation of the ceasefire and urged the IGAD, TROIKA and the United Nation not to blame their forces when they defending themselves against the attackers.