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IGAD rebukes SPLM-IO over accusations of responsibility for Jonglei attacks

January 18, 2018 (JUBA) - The allegations of the SPLM-IO deputy spokesperson Lam Paul Gabriel that IGAD is responsible for recent attacks by the government forces in South Sudan’s Jonglei region are "misleading and irresponsible", said the IGAD Special Envoy, Ambassador Ismail Wais.

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South Sudan first vice president Taban Deng Gai arrives in Bor May 9, 2017 (ST)

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Thursday, Wais asked Gabriel "to withdraw the statement and not to indulge in such act in the future as it is unfounded and diverts the attention of the public from the core issues of attainment of peace and security in South Sudan".

The stunning rebuke of the IGAD special envoy comes after accusations by the rebel official that the IGAD and TROIKA are "indirectly contributing to the bloodshed in South Sudan" because the attacks carried out in Bieh State during a recent visit of the First Vice President Taban Deng Gai in the region.

In a statement issued Monday, Col. Gabriel claimed that FVP Taban Deng Gai caused destructions and displacement to the civilians in areas under the control of the SPLA-IO when he toured Jonglei with the knowledge of the IGAD and TROIKA.

On January 17, 2018, the IGAD envoy held a meeting in Juba with the Chairperson of CTSAMM, Major General Ibrahim AbdulJelill who briefed him about the security situation in the different conflict areas.

Following this meeting, Wasi recalled the statements issued by the IGAD, the TROIKA and jointly by the AU and UN, on the truce violations, stressing that "in all of these statements, the signatories have been called upon to desist from actions that contravene the Agreement".

" Violators shall be identified, held accountable and will face all consequences thereof, he concluded," the IGAD special envoy further said.