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The South Sudan Defense Force has not disbanded

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Press Release

January 15, 2006

Contrary to rumors and a release out of Juba of the so-called Juba Declaration the South Sudan Defense Force (SSDF) HAS NOT Disbanded. In fact, it is now stronger than ever. These are the facts:

1- Former Chief of Staff Paulino Matip of the SSDF has defected to the SPLM/A. He has been bribed, manipulated, deceived, beguiled and did in fact join with the blood tinted and internationally known corrupt, manipulative and deceitful pro-Marxist-Leninist Sudan Peoples’ Liberation movement (SPLM).

2- Most of the SSDF officers’ went to Juba with purpose of attending the negotiations with the SPLM/A reconciliation and unity of purpose. Nevertheless, they manipulated and deceived with the back door agreement engineered and masterminded by Dr. Riek Machar and Mr. Slava Kiir and others to join the SPLM/A. Most of the officers who attended the South-South Dialogue and unity are under house arrest in Juba as “prisoners of conscious.” They wait transfer to Yei in Western Equatoria for possible torture and death. However, they denied them the rights to communicate with the outside world and their families and loved ones in Khartoum and in the South. Those who have not joined the SPLA and wishing to rejoin SSDF units placed under house arrest. In other words, they are under duress. We call on the international community and the Africa Human Rights Watch to investigate this incident because it jeopardizes the peace process in South Sudan. We call on the SPLM/A for an immediate release of these officers and guaranteed safe passage to their respective SSDF command posts.

3- South Sudan United Democratic Alliance (SSUDA) the political wing of the SSDF calls on the SPLM/A leadership to take this incident seriously and urges for the immediate and the unconditional release and safe return of the above-mentioned officers and facilitate their immediate safe return to their command units in the SSDF controlled areas.

4- Paulino Matip is the only General that has joined the SPLA per deceptive promised by Mr. Slav Kiir that he would take the portfolio of the SPLA Military Affairs post. Big money involved bribing the officers. The actors in this malicious and corrupt racket have been the top hierarchy of the SPLM leadership, namely, Mr. Kiir, Dr. Riek Machar and other senior SPLM/A officers, including the wife of the late dictator Dr. John Garang who controls and manages most of the SPLM/A funds in her millionaire ex-husband private estate. It would appear that no officers of the near 100,000 troops of the SSDF that have defected. However, most of the army in Bentiu does not want to go to the SPLA. General Peter Gadet’s and officers’ secured oil rich Unity State (Bentiu) continues to remain under the SSDF virtual administration and control.

5- Only less than one-half of the 16 Generals of the SSDF would even attend the Juba meeting. Many of the officers went to Juba to listen to the back door deal between General Paulino, masterminded by Lt. General Salva Kiir and Dr. Machar.

6- Almost all of the Generals of the SSDF expected to return to the SSDF command posts to resume their normal duties and responsibilities.

7- The new Chief of Staff of the SSDF is General Gordon Koang Chol. The Chief Operations of the SSDF is General Gabriel Tang is now on frontline. The Deputy Chief of Staff of the SSDF is Major- General Tom Al-Nour who controls Bahr -el- Ghazal States. Between these generals alone, the SSDF controls Upper Nile and Jonglei regions and Bahr- el-Ghazal, which include oil blocks 3,5a, 5b, seven and Block B, the major oil regions of the South. SSDF generals and officers in Equatoria region are in control of their command posts.

8- The SPLA offered large sums of money to bribe SSDF Generals to come to the SPLA. This is how the SPLA uses the money accounting for 50% of oil revenue as part of the wealth sharing as stipulated in the so-called Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) earmarked for post-war construction and development in the most backward South and the Western donors are not helping the situation either. This money used contrary to the articles and provisions of the CPA.

8- The SPLA will not enter SSDF territory. SSDF military Central Command has been shoring up their troops by moving their troops into strategic key positions.

9- The SSDF reached a peace agreement with the Government of Sudan in 1997. It took
More than seven (7) years for the SPLA to do the same but how can an agreement between the SPLA and the GOS be binding upon the SSDF and force them to integrate into the SPLA?

10-SSDF is committed the peace process that it begun with the Khartoum peace Agreement of 1997 with the GOS that stands now as the authentic copycat or replication of the so-called CPA. SSUDA/SSDF reiterates to the world and people of South Sudan that we stand tall for total unity of the South based on democratic process, peace and social justice for all under one and only one indivisible South. We reject the creation a one-party rule, autocracy, dictatorship, corruption and the denial of peaceful and political democratic transformation and the emergence of good governance based on democracy and the rule of law in South Sudan.

11- Finally, SSUDA/SSDF leadership would like to reiterate to the international community that the SPLM/A failure to release the detained SSDF officers could impair and jeopardize the implementation of the CPA and unity of the South. We strongly warned the SPLM/A leadership that entering the SSDF territory could have serious consequences. Time will show that not only is the SSDF not disbanding, it is stronger than ever. The SPLA will become weaker since they use the tactics of bribes and lies but only the truth survives time.

– Signed: Professor David de Chand
Spokesman and Director for External Affairs, SSUDA/SSDF

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