South Sudan: SPLA-IO to Probe Case of Officers Captured in Unity State Clashes

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in-Opposition (SPLA-IO) is planning to dispatch a committee to Unity State to investigate a case in which two of its officers were captured by the SSPDF during the

Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, Spokesperson of the SPLA-IO, confirmed that the two SPLA-IO officers captured during the clash are still being held in SSPDF custody.

He said a committee would be formed to go to Bentiu to find out what exactly happened in Unity State during the clash.

“The two officers are still under detention and there is a committee being put in place to investigate what exactly happened. I do not know how many members there are, but I know that the committee is being put in place to go to Bentiu and go to the field to investigate exactly what happened,” Col. Lam said.

However, Col. Lam did not tell when exactly the committee would be leaving for Bentiu.

On the flip side, the SSPDF Spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, said he did not have any information from his command about the capturing of the SPLA-IO soldiers during the recent clash.

However, he said he only learned about it from the SPLA-IO Deputy Spokesperson in Unity State.

According to him, the SPLA-IO should follow the procedures of the arms conflict that regulate the status of those captured during the wars.

“I heard from someone who is a spokesperson for the SPLA-IO in Unity State. I am not aware that some officers were captured, and if there were soldiers who were captured then the procedures must be followed. There are steps that are taken to follow the soldiers captured during the war,” he said.

He added, “They should not appeal to the media, they should follow the laws of the army. If there were any officers captured, why don’t they follow the laws of armed conflict that governs the status of the prisoners of war?”

On January 29, 2024, fighting erupted between the SPLA-IO and the SSPDF in the Nyuel-nyuel Military barrack, northeast of Unity State. Eight soldiers were killed, including five from SSPDF and three from SPLA-IO.

The SPLA-IO claimed that two of its officers identified as senior officer 2nd Lt. Bol Panjiel and Military intelligence officer 2nd Lt. Tiriw Manyok had been captured by the SSPDF after the clash.

REPORT: City Review South Sudan.

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