South Sudan rebels dismiss alleged arrest of two officials

Hentet fra Sudan Tribune (ingen journalist kreditert)

The armed opposition faction allied to the country’s former First Vice President, Riek Machar on Tuesday dismissed allegations that Sudanese intelligence agents allegedly arrested their chief of general staff, Gen. Gatwech Dual and Gen. James Koang Chuol in the country’s capital, Khartoum on Monday.

The accusation comes after the Jikany Nuer Community in South Sudan and Ethiopia claimed that at least four rebel generals have defected to the government. The defectors, they said, included, Khor Chuol Giet, Thok Chuol Luak, Thok Chuol Liah, and Pal Kun Kek.

However, the armed opposition faction spokesperson, Brig. Gen. William Gatjiath described the allegations as “lies and propaganda”.

“This new lie followed that from a group calling themselves “Jikany Nuer Community in South Sudan and Ethiopia” who earlier on falsely and spuriously claimed that our very own bravest General James Khor Chuol Giet, General Thok Chuol Luak, General Thok Chuol Liah and General Stephen Pal Kun Kek joined the Juba regime in our SPLM-SPLA (IO) Pagak Headquarters,” he said in a statement.

According to rebel official, the propaganda from those allied to the Juba regime was simply to divert the attention of the international community from the ongoing military campaigns and aggressions.

He accused the South Sudanese government of trying to tarnish the image of Sudan while Khartoum is a welcoming place for more than more than 650,000 South Sudanese, who escaped the brutalities of Juba’s regime and further accuse Juba of paying Sudanese rebels to fight the armed opposition forces alongside government troops.

Sudan is reportedly hosting more than 650,000 refugees from South Sudan, mostly from the Upper Nile, Unity and Bahr el-Ghazal states.

“We in the SPLM-SPLA (IO) condemns this new Juba regime to lie with the contempt it deserves and wishes to inform the people of South Sudan that General Simon Gatwich Dual and General James Koang Chuol Ranley are neither arrested nor detained by anyone, any authority or government anywhere,» said the rebel spokesperson.

The rebel spokesperson said the South Sudanese government was so desperate and spreads lies in order for the region and the African Union to turn their focus away from the peace revitalization process.

“The purpose of pouring one misleading lie after another into public circulation is to confuse the people of South Sudan and divert their attention and that of the region, African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) and indeed the international community from the ongoing Juba regime military campaign, aggression, and offensives against civilian targets and SPLM-SPLA (IO) positions across South Sudan,” he stressed.

The two rival forces have been fighting in South Sudan’s eastern part, as government seeks to capture Pagak town on its border with Ethiopia.