Saturday, December 12, 2009

SPLM-DC arming militia in southern Sudan?

From SRS - Sudan Radio Service , 11 December 2009:
(Khartoum) – The government of Upper Nile is accusing the SPLM-DC of arming a militia in the region.

On Wednesday, the deputy governor of Upper Nile state escaped death after his convoy from Akoka was ambushed by gunmen who were later captured.

The state Minister for Information, Thon Muom claims that one of the gunmen is an SPLM-DC militia member.

He spoke to SRS on Thursday.

[Thon Muom]: “The gunmen that we are talking about support the SPLM-DC. We were ambushed by an organized gang. They attacked us from the roadside while others were blocking the road. After the SPLA soldiers backed us up, some of them ran towards the river. Our soldiers were able to repulse them and we caught some of them. That’s when we discovered that they were an SPLM-DC militia. One of the people we caught is called James Uthou and he admitted that they have a battalion and half in Al-Jazeera and their commander is call Guang Nyaker. They get their supplies from Kodok and are paid from Malakal here.”

Asked to respond to the allegation that his party operated a militia in south Sudan, the SPLM-DC chairman Dr. Lam Akol, brushed off the accusation.

[Dr. Lam Akol]: “The SPLM-DC doesn’t have any militia. I have said that several times. But there are people who want to tarnish our name, people who are afraid of the progress that the SPLM-DC is making in southern Sudan and the popularity which we are getting. They are scared of that. The fighting in the area started six months ago. In January, in the same area where they claim the ambush took place, the Shilluk were shot at by some Dinka. Were they SPLM-DC? In September, some Shilluk armed men retaliated and killed Dinka in Gai-Thiang. Were they for the SPLM-DC? Akoka was attacked last month by some armed men, among the dead were SPLA soldiers. Were they for the SPLM-DC? There is armed conflict all over the south, are they all caused by SPLM-DC militias? Let them take the people they claim to have captured to court. Why have they not taken them to court so that everybody will know that the court has convicted somebody? In any case, we are going to take the minister to court so he can prove his allegations. We are taking him to court for defamation.”

Dr Lam Akol was speaking to SRS from Khartoum on Friday.

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