October 17th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – A high ranking military officer allied to South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, the SPLM-IO, led by the country’s former First Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon has been arrested over the weekend along with his bodyguards in Gbudue State, acting SPLM-IO governor of Gbudue state told the Nyamilepedia on Tuesday.
Brig. Gen. John Alex was arrested according to, William Adriano Baiki, acting SPLM-IO governor of Gbudue state by government troops in a surprise incident which took place along the road to Rangu, a SPLA-IO base located within the Gbudue state.
“On Sunday 14/10/2018, regime forces (SPLM/A) recently renamed by the President Kiir to SSPDF arrested the SPLM/A-IO Brig Gen Alex John Gasi at Rimenze located 18 Miles along Yambio-Maridi road East of Gbudue capital City,” Adriano said in a statement to the Nyamilepedia.
The armed opposition governor said the arrest of the senior SPLA-IO General highlights how the South Sudan government is not committed to the ceasefire agreement signed in June 2018 by President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny.
“Following the R-ARCSS signed on 12/09/2018 by all parties, the SPLM/A-IO have learned with dismay that the regime isn’t for peace, instead they are peace spoilers as they are on offensive in most parts of the country respectively,” he added in the statement.
South Sudan government and opposition groups including Machar’s SPLM-IO signed the long awaited peace deal in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in an effort brokered by the regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
The IGAD efforts were aimed at ending the ongoing five-year old civil war which has killed thousands and displaced millions with other millions, according to international aid workers, are on the brink of starvation.
The opposition group further urged the government to release the detained SPLA-IO officer in line with the ceasefire agreement and in the interest of the revitalized agreement signed don September 12 in Addis Ababa.
“The SPLM/A-IO leadership in Gbudue State demand the release of Brig Gen John Alex Gasi with immediate effect in accordance with Chapter II article 18.104.22.168 of the R-ARCSS of signed agreement,” the deputy governor said in the statement.
The opposition government in Gbudue reiterated its commitment to the implementation of the peace agreement signed in September and the ceasefire agreement signed in June by the parties.
“In sum, the SPLM/A-IO in Gbudue particularly are committed to implement the agreement both in letter and spirit but reserve a natural defense from the aggressors without tolerance and I would advise our supporters to remain calmed,” the statement added.