TROIKA condemns SSPDF attacks on SPLA-IO positions, saying it worsen the country’s security and encourages defections.
In a joint statement issued on Wednesday, the Troika countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway) condemned the reported attacks by the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) on Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In-Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) positions in Jekau and other towns in Maiwut County, Upper Nile State, beginning the weekend of March 19-20.
According to the Troika nations, these occurrences follow a series of alleged assaults on SPLM/A-IO positions by SSPDF and SSPDF-aligned troops in Unity and Upper Nile states over the previous two months.
“The Troika requests that the Permanent Ceasefire and Peace Agreement monitoring and verification mechanisms, the Ceasefire, and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM), and the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) provide an urgent assessment of whether these attacks constitute a breach of R-ARCSS and identify those who bear primary responsibility,” the statement said.
“Incidents like this, and the following cycles of retaliation assaults, risk increasing violence in the nation,” it warned. They also show the disruptive and harmful repercussions of incentivized defections, which are often followed by violent conflicts between defectors and former colleagues in arms.”
The Troika expressed special worry over reported assaults on training institutes and cantonment locations, which indicate a lack of political will to integrate and graduate the Necessary Unified Forces and, as a result, endanger the peace deal.
“We urge the Government of South Sudan to exert leadership and control over the country’s security forces in order to ensure discipline and compliance with the peace deal,” the statement stated. “The Troika regrets SPLM/A-decision IO’s to withdraw temporarily from CTSAMVM and R-JMEC, and encourages all parties to recommit to the R-ARCSS and participate in good faith in the Agreement procedures.”
With less than a year remaining in the transition phase, the trio believes that unwavering devotion is required to bring us to the finish line.
“Unfortunately, recent developments indicate the opposite. We are afraid that continuing on this road may result in further bouts of bloodshed and suffering for the people of South Sudan, who have already been through two wars in their first decade of independence,” the statement said. “The Troika will continue to assist the parties in their efforts to create a stable, peaceful society for all South Sudanese.”