Home | News    Thursday 21 April 2011

Upper Nile says it found firearms at Malakal SPLM-DC office

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By Ngor Arol Garang

April 19, 2011 (WAU) - The South Sudan government says it has collected over 200 firearms in turbulent Malakal town in Upper Nile state during search operations over the weekend, including some from a leading opposition party. Heavy machine guns including RPGs and PKMs, G3 rifles, held grenades as well pistols were confiscated.

The operation took place following an attack on the town, officials from south Sudan’s governing party - the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) - claim was carried out by armed groups loyal to an opposition party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC).

SPLM-DC, which split from the SPLM in 2009, is one of the largest South Sudanese opposition parties. Anyoti Adigo, one of its members was last year elected to be the leader of the opposition group in South Sudan’s Legislative Assembly in Juba.

Formed in June 2009, by the former Sudanese foreign Affairs minister, Lam Akol Ajawin after developing political differences with leadership of the SPLM, SPLM-DC has often been subjected to accusations by officials in the regional government of having armed groups in the South, backed by Khartoum, to destabilize the south ahead of its independence. Following a referendum earlier this year the South will secede in July.

Akol denies any involvement or link to any militia group and has said the government should take responsibility of the incident in which many people were killed during a crack down on dissents predominantly members of his political party from his own Shilluk ethnic group.

On 6 March, just 6 days before the 12 March attacks on Malakal, South Sudan’s official army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) clashed with an armed group allegedly loyal to a militia leader identified Oliny in Dur village near Owachi locality in Upper Nile state.

Many in the area say the attack occurred while Oliny was waiting to be absorbed into the southern army. Some 62 were reported dead. Reports from United Nations indicate that 55 of those killed were civilians.

Many view the attack on Malakal as an indication of the challenges facing the oil-producing region as it moves towards independence.

Peter Lam Both, minister of information in the government of Upper Nile, said in an interview with Sudan Tribune from Malakal on Monday evening that state authorities on Saturday 16, April 2011, conducted a search for arms in Malakal town. He said that 17 Kalashnikovs (AKM rifles) were found in the office of the SPLM-DC.

"Yes, a general arms search operation was conducted in Malakal town on Saturday. It was successful operation in which over 200 AKM rifles were collected. Some other different type of weapons including PKMs and RPGs as well as pistols and hand held rocket propel grenades were also found," said minister Both.

"The house-to-house search operation for guns in the whole town included offices and headquarters of political parties and state government ministers, and in the process, 17 AKM rifles were found in the office of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change".

"This is a clear proof of what we have been saying about SPLM-DC that it has a military wing," said the minister. He also claimed that the SPLM-DC chairman, Lam Akol on Sunday 17, April graduated "300 members" of the militia group in the northern town of Kosti.

"Just yesterday on Sunday, the SPLM-DC chairman, Lam Akol was in Kosti for graduation of 300 members of the militia group to be sent to the south," he said on Monday.

Attempts made by Sudan Tribune on both Monday and Tuesday to reach Lam Akol failed. Reports of the United Nations indicate that 800 people have already been killed in armed clashes this year in the south. In 2010 the UN estimates 980 people were killed in South Sudan.

While almost half of 151 armed clashes were disputes over water and land, the UN says half of the deaths in 2011 were caused by fighting among security forces and other armed groups, indicating that the southern unity forged before the referendum is once again in trouble. There are seven confirmed militias operating in the south.

In Upper Nile, Oliny’s militia started as armed group fighting against encroachment on Shilluk land by the Dinka, the south’s largest tribe. But recent fighting including attack on Malakal appears to be a politically motivated.

Officials from South Sudan’s governing party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) view the clashes as part of a larger plan to destabilize the region.

(ST)

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  • 21 April 2011 07:06, by Hero

    I guess, it’s not a surprise to anyone here on the web!It look like there’s no more room for denial this time.Otherwise, let wait and see how they will respond.Shame,these few elite are working day & night,just to instigate violate within South Sudan.

    repondre message

    • 21 April 2011 14:18, by DANDHEL

      This is the only topic with NO personal,tribal abuse...you all grew up now...Wish to be like this everyday with no you are from Nuer ,Dinka,Equatorians and other bulshit...otherwise congrats to SPLA...

      repondre message

  • 21 April 2011 07:11, by Fearless man

    Yet, much of what lies beneath the ocean’s surface remains a mystery, and our people continues to rely on a confused, antiquated system of DR LAM Akol governance
    Lam will never larn from his past history with Dr Riek machar teny when the rebelled and committed genocide in Bor Dinka,
    death to them.

    repondre message

  • 21 April 2011 08:06, by mama justice

    Congratulation to the SPLM/A you have done a great job keep the momentum. Chase them a way from the South, and declare S. South as single party state, otherwise, the rebels will confuse the civilians using their single story ’ democracy’ and that is what we were fight for and working now to acheive it. The SPLM should learn from the past, those rebels they go and come back and go again, which led to killing of the innocent people, why do you welcome them back? They are not loyal to you, they just return for material needs. Dear S. Sudanese there is no fighting for democratic by the rebels. They want to destablise the South to fulfill their material needs, support them and you will regret later

    repondre message

    • 21 April 2011 11:03, by Tiger black

      Excellent job by SPLA to search all Malakal town and every houses. The question still remain why do GOSS still share the same Government with Rebell of group SPLM_DC? this so call DC splm should be invalidated in politic in South Sudan. No one tribe party in the system of any government, unless the have their intention of created subdivision among people like in somalia but it will not happen,and all people in the southern region are aware of the activities of SPLM DC.who is behind them Arab in khartoum no money at this time to you guys.

      repondre message

  • 21 April 2011 12:10, by Martin Muong

    Bravo SPLA! Keep it up and encourage disarmament commission to keep looking for militias with guns and arms in the territories of Southern Sudan to safe the lives of civilians. Our aim is to secure every Southern Sudan citizen. Take coercive measures to control such act of arming civilians with deadly weapons to kill their fellow civilians in Upper Nile state. There is saying "prevention is better than cure".Just take preventive measures to stop rampant killing of civilians.

    repondre message

    • 21 April 2011 14:39, by Genuine Leader

      Dear all readers.
      Bravo to spla to conduct this successful weapons searches.
      but something fishy about rifles founded in SPLM Dc office.
      if its proof that’’ splm DC possesing weapon? the urgent filing court to prevent Splm dc from party activities since its proof splm dc violated parties regulations must take place.

      Anti- ctm

      repondre message

  • 21 April 2011 15:30, by dinkador1

    Were do they get those guns? There are same people in SPLA in juba who are giving them guns.Soon juba will be under gun fire as they are doing it at their places.

    Not only that, let them kill themselves till they will funish.

    repondre message

  • 22 April 2011 08:53, by emadven

    I smell propaganda and Machiavellian politics. scape goat. ahaha

    repondre message

  • 23 April 2011 07:06, by dinkador1

    Not only at malakal,even at juba,maney of them are having guns and every night there is shooting, during morning they go to their officeses.
    dinkas are like them too.

    repondre message

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