Office of Director for Military Information &
Military Spokesman for SPLA in Opposition
Sept 11, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — After receiving persistent calls and reading consistent reports from various media outlets echoing government’s false accusations that our resistance forces are preparing to launch coordinated attacks on government defensive positions in Bentiu town and Mayom.
SPLA is compelled to clear the air by unequivocally stating that forces are not preparing to attack government positions anywhere in Unity State. These accusations are cheap public opinion massage exercise meant to cover government’s own plans to attack our positions in Unity, Jonglei, Upper Nile and Northern Bahr El Ghazal States. SPLA stills maintains its Containment Policy but reserves the right to fight in self-defense when and wherever attacked.
SPLA Once Again Denies Responsible for Shooting Down UNMISS Helicopter.The Military Leadership of SPLA once gain exonerates itself from any wrong doing in regard to UNMISS Helicopter which crashed on 26th August 2014 at Tong Islands 10km southeast of Rupkoni Airstrip, Rupkoni County in Unity State.
Its worth informing the world that our forces do not at all have surface to air missile systems capability capable of bringing down planes flying at more than 3000ft. its also good pointing out that the chopper went down in government controlled areas, loyalists were the first to reach the scene whereas our forces were 20km away from the site.
UNMISS Investigation Team Should be Given a Chance to Work
We, reiterate our commitment to give UNMISS Investigation Team full cooperation required and that others with genuine interests including those with ill intentions should also give them a chance to do their work diligently. SPLA concurs with Mr. Toby Lazer’s letter circulated to all UNMISS/UN staff requesting them to refrain from speculations until a comprehensive report is released by the investigation committee. We too agree, preliminary reports published by some media outlets should not be used as basis for apportioning blames.
Persistent and consistent reports including a recorded conversation between Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet Yak and UNMISS/UN staff in which he threatened to shoot down incoming planes had been taken out of context. Issuing warnings is one thing while actual execution is quite different and hence those in a rush to hold him responsible should take/adopt wait and see attitude.
SPLA Well Experienced in Handling Flights Landing without Information and Permission
We would like to inform the people of South Sudan, region and the world that SPLA Gallant Forces under their respective regional/state commands/governors are well experienced in handling flights that land in areas under our control without prior information and permission.
The first unauthorized landing was in January 2014 when an MSF operated plane landed at Nasir Air strip in Upper Nile State without information and permission. The plane was impounded, an investigation committee was established and upon ascertaining that the plane was on humanitarian mission, it was released without strings attached. Another more serious development occurred in May 2014 this time round in Jonglei State when a government chartered 19 seater plane landed at Yuai Airstrip in Wuror County again without authorization. After it was impounded, searches carried out and investigations conducted, it was established beyond any reasonable doubt that the plane was on assassination mission as proved by the discovery of two silencers and a hit list retrieved from the two passengers on board (Kenya Pilot and South Sudan national from South Sudan National Police Service). As a good will gesture to the peoples and the government of Kenya, the Pilot and the plane were later released without pre-conditions.
The last incident was in August 2014 when an IGAD operated Helicopter landed at Buoth airstrip in Mayom County; Unity State without information and permission. As usual and in line with movement’s policy not to hinder delivery of humanitarian services and the implementation of CoH, the occupants who turned out to be IGAD Monitors were released a day later. Buoth unauthorized landing happened two days before fatal crashing of UNMISS Chopper. IGAD’s helicopter landing was clearly contrary to the provisions of Modalities on Implementation of CoH which states that any aerial or land patrols should and must not be carried out without the participation of monitors from one of the parties to the conflict. To be correct and precise, SPLA’s monitors were not included on that mission. However, in the name of peace, our political and military leaderships did not hesitate to release the chopper.
As illustrated by those unauthorized landings, SPLA Forces handled all the incidents with ultmost care, tact, and as a result, not even a single life was lost despite the fact the outcomes could have been fatal. The careful handling of aforesaid incidences was in sharp contrast of government troops’ reckless behaviour which resulted in the shooting of UN Helicopter at Lokuangole in Pibor County, Jonglei State in December 2012
Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang,
Director of Military Information and
Military Spokesman for SPLA (Opposition)