April 16, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- South Sudan’s SPLM/SPLA in opposition condemns force recruitment of child soldiers, renewed attacks, raiding of cattle and destruction of civilians’ property and lives in Unity State by a government allied militia.
According to Dickson Gatluak of SPLA-IO, a government allied militia under command of Gen. Mathew Puljang has attacked their positions and raided cattle in Unity State.
“The SPLA/ IO strongly condemn this new militarization and recent clashes in Unity state from the government allied militias under command of Gen Mathew Pul Jang. ” Gatluak said
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Responding to allegations made by the Commissioner of Mayom County, who is loyal to Salva Kiir government, Gatluak said their forces did not raid cattle as alleged.
“Such claim that the IO is looting cattle is not true, It’s the government allied militias who came out from Wangkei and Bentiu town and carried out attacks on our defensive positions in Tuarkiel,Waak Payam and other locations in Rubkona county.” Gatluak said.
Believing that their troops are victims of attacks launched by the government and its militia, SPLA-IO accuse Puljang’s militia of violating the peace agreement and disrupting peace in Unity State.
“This is very unfortunate that government allied militias keep on disturbing the peace and operate independently with no order or unity of command from military Headquarters in Juba.” Gatluak said.
Unlike other attacks in Western Equatoria and Western Bhar el Ghazal, which are aimed to refute the present of SPLM/SPLA forces in those states, SPLA-IO deputy spokesman said the main motive of the recent attacks in Unity State was a mere encroachment for Juba to expand its military operations in Unity State in violation of the peace agreement.
According to reliable sources, the accused warlord met with the South Sudan Chief of General Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, in Western Bhar el Ghazal last week to plan new recruitment and to weight more wars on rebels in oil riched Unity State.