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SSPDF claims Morota and Kajo-Keji clashes were between SPLA-IO and Civilians

Dec 1, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — The South Sudan People Defence Force (SSPDF) has denied attacking the SPLM-IO bases in Morota and Kajo-keji saying that the claims are baseless and unjustified.

Local chiefs and elders from Mori speaking to media after defection of Maj. Gen. Moses Lokujo Gabriel in Juba(Photo credit: supplied/Nyamilepedia)
Local chiefs and elders from Mori speaking to media after defection of Maj. Gen. Moses Lokujo Gabriel in Juba(Photo credit: supplied/Nyamilepedia)

The acting SSPDF spokesman, Santo Domic, rubbished off the SPLA-IO claims that the clashes in Morota and Kajokeji were between the SPLA-IO and civilians in those areas.

According to Domic, the local chiefs in Kajo-Keji areas wrote letters to the governor of Central Equatoria in attempt to report illegal activities allegedly conducted by the SPLM-IO in the area and that they wanted the state government to intervene. 

“The chiefs and youth of Kajokeji wrote a letter addressed to the governor of Central Equatorial State. They said in the letter that the IO are looting the area, they steal cows, chicken, money, goats, rape women in the area. And they were demanding that they do not want IO in Morota, they should be relocated to a different location so that they are far from civilians,” Santo Domic said.

Santo further claimed that the government did not respond to their letter or assisted them with arms and ammunition to fight the SPLM/A-IO

“They also said if the government does not respond to their demands, they will allow the youth to take the law into their own hands to protect the community,” he said.

Santo believes that the SPLM-IO took advantage of Moses Lokuju’s defection to loot the people of Kajokeji and that caused anger among the local residents.

“So, when Moses Lokuju resigned and joined SSPDF, some of the soldiers from the SPLA-IO started a campaign to destroy and loot the people of Kajokeji until the people got angry and the youth attacked Morota camp,” the police spokesperson said.

Domic denied that the SSPDF was involved in the clashes in Morota in any way but the civilians might have taken law into their hands to demand their rights. 

“SSPDF has no connection with what happened, not even Major General Lokujo who joined us recently was involved. SSPDF are not peace spoilers. Peace spoilers are those who are looting civilians and providing false information that SSPDF fought in Moroto. SSPDF did not fight in Moroto, let them say the truth,” he stressed.

His claims came after the SPLM-IO released a statement demanding that ceasefire violators and perpetrators of war be investigated and held accountable for crimes committed in Morota and adjacent areas.

The SPLM-IO accussed SSPDF of attacking its bases not only in Central Equatoria but also in Upper Nile and Western Bahr el Ghazal since the signing of the agreement in 2018.

The two days of fighting in Kajo-Keji forced the SPLA-IO to retreat from Morota but they demand that the SSPDF should vacate the center and resupply it with food and other basic needs for their forces.

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