June 11, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —— South Sudan’s former First Vice President, Chairman and Commander in Chief of the armed Opposition, SPLM/A-IO, has ordered his forces across the country, South Sudan, to protect civilians and respect all aspects of International Human Rights laws.
Speaking from South Africa, Dr. Machar regrets death of civilians, who were caught in cross fire along the Juba-Nimule road when the warring factions of SPLA clashed in the past few days.
Speaking on behalf of the leadership of SPLA-IO, Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, the Deputy Military Spokesperson SPLA IO, reiterates that Machar has instructed all SPLA-IO forces not to attack civilians or their convoys within their reach.
“The SPLA IO forces have been instructed not to attack civilians convoys on any road within their reach; they should act only in self defences. The leadership regrets the lost of civilian’s lives in that ambush. Our thoughts are with the families of the demises.” Lam said.
Despite, SPLA-IO warns civilians to avoid using Juba-Nimule road until security situation is restored or until further notice.
“Due to the incident that happened on the 8/06/2017 on Juba Nimule road, the leadership of the SPLM/A IO hereby requests civilians not to use military convoys when traveling to avoid falling victims of crossfire.” Lam continued.
The control of Juba-Nimule road, which serves as a lifeline for populations in Juba, is being contested by the warring factions of SPLA-IG and SPLA-IO. Neither of the two forces fully controls the paved highway and it remains unclear how its security could be restored without a comprehensive peace agreement.
In the recent attacks, which was claimed by SPLA-IO, government generals and their bodyguards, who accompanied the convoys were killed or severely wounded.
While Col. Amigo Ange was confirmed dead on the scene, Brigadier General Charles Kon Akot was rushed to Juba hospital in a very critical conditions.
A retired general, Gen. Al-Tahir Bior, who was accompanied by his bodyguards was also killed on this road a few months ago.
Military ambushes along Juba-Nimule highway and other major roads, leading to Juba, are very rampant in South Sudan as President Salva Kiir struggles to maintain power while trying to isolate his former allies.