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South Sudanese rebels accuse Juba government of propaganda

February 11, 2018 (JUBA) - South Sudanese rebels have accused the Juba regime of spreading negative propaganda, yet it continues to attack its positions in violation of the various cessation of hostilities agreements.

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Mabior John Garang de Mabior (File photo MC Clatchy Newspapers)

Garang Mabior, armed opposition’s external relations director, cited the May 2017 unilateral ceasefire Kiir declared, but "immediately" attacked rebel bases in Pagak and Maiwut.

“The SPLM/SPLA(IO) also takes this opportunity to denounce the negative propaganda being fabricated by the regime, which purports the SPLM/SPLA (IO): "fired at a plane carrying 130 passengers on their way to Pagak", he explained in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

"This propaganda is contrary to reason, as the airstrip in Pagak can only serve small aircraft like a Caravan Plane (nine passengers), or a Dash-8 Plane (fifty passengers)," he added.

According to Mabior, the only plane that could carry over 100 passengers, as alleged by the regime’s propaganda, would be a Fokker, which cannot land in Pagak.

"The regime’s claims that the aircraft was an Antonov An-24, which has a maximum capacity of forty passengers, is equally absurd. The lies of the regime fly in the face of scrutiny," further stressed the rebel official.

"This disinformation is only intended to cover up the latest offensive by the regime’s forces on SPLA/SPLM (IO) positions in Unity State and in Western Equatoria, which came hours after refusing to sign the Declaration of Principles (DoP)," he added.

The armed opposition faction official requested Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM), "in the spirit of transparency" to urgently investigate allegations made by the Juba regime.

"The SPLM/SPLA (IO) is not deterred by these gimmicks and we shall continue to seek peace through a negotiated settlement, however, the Movement reserves its natural right of self-defence in the face of an intransigent and belligerent regime", sad Mabior.

The second phase of the South Sudan peace revitalization forum started a week ago, after failure of the warring parties to implement a cessation of hostilities. It is also convened under regional and international threats to impose sanctions on the parties if they fail to honour the peace deal.

However, the armed opposition faction on Friday announced it signed a Declaration of Principles for the peace revitalization process while the government refused the framework saying it calls for sanctions on the parties.

(ST)