March 23, 2021(Nyamilepedia) — 5 SPLM-IO soldiers and their commanding officer were killed on Monday morning following an attack on the SPLA-IO cantonment site of Lowereng in Kapoeta South County of Eastern Equatoria State.
According to the deputy military spokesperson of the SPLA-IO, the attack was carried out by unidentified armed men who also burnt down some houses.
“We don’t know who attacked, but a force came and attacked, burnt houses, and killed five of us,” Col. Paul Lam said.
Among the dead was also a woman and the Brigadier General who commanded the platoon at the cantonment site.
“One of them, a brigadier responsible for the cantonment, died and a woman has also been killed plus three other soldiers so this is what happened and it is not good because we are now in the program of peace,” Col. Lam Gabriel said.
He urged people to refrain from killing each other adding that there were no provocations or misunderstanding between various forces in Eastern Equatoria state.
“People should have not killed themselves. What pains me a lot is that Eastern Equatoria is a cold place and it has had no problems. Since the implementation of this agreement, we have not heard that there is a problem between SSPDF and IO or between SSOA and IO. Even with civilians, nothing,” he added.
Col. Lam called on the Joint Defense Board (JDB) to expeditiously form a committee to investigate the matter on the ground and find out who is responsible for the attack.
He added that the main opposition will not carry out revenge for what happened.
The attack was confirmed by Maj. Gen. Marko Lokidor Lochapio, a leading member of the SPLM/A-IO and minister of peacebuilding in Eastern Equatoria State.
“We found that the cantonment site was burnt and there are people killed there and up to now we have not known who did this but we are still investigating the situation,” he said.
Col. Dominic Odemi, the administrator of the Area Joint Military Ceasefire Committee (AJMCC) in Eastern Equatoria State, said all the surviving soldiers have been evacuated after the surprise attack.
“The cantonment was attacked yesterday morning at 5 am and when I sent my team to the ground, they found exactly it was true. The store was even burnt with some RPGs that were stored in there plus some guns,” Col. Odemi said. “Five soldiers were killed including the commander for DDR plus his deputy and three other soldiers. We are asking who attacked but there is no clear information.”
However, Brig. Santo Domic, the SSPDF said that said he had no information about the attack