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Lam Paul Gabriel, the spokesman for South Sudan People’s Liberation Army in opposition

South Sudan armed opposition organize forces for phase two training

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army -in Opposition (SPLA-IO) under First Vice President Riek Machar said that is ready to send it’s forces for the upcoming phase II training.

Col. Lam Paul Gabriel said that they have visited some training camps in Upper Nile State to prepare for phase two training.

“The SPLA-IO Acting Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen Gabriel Duop Lam began his peace dissemination missions in Upper Nile State by first visiting Mandeng, Lankien and then Fangak,” Gabriel said in a statement issued on Saturday.

He said the aim of the high profile visit to the designated training centers is to prepare the SPLA-IO forces to be moved from cantonment sites for the commencement of training of Phase II of the security arrangements.

The peace mission was facilitated by Tut Gatluak Manime, the Presidential Advisor on Security Affairs who also doubles as the Chairperson for the National Transitional Committee (NTC) in collaboration with United Nations Mission in South Sudan.

Gabriel revealed that SPLA-IO’s Acting Chief of General Staff was accompanied by Lt. Gen. Koang Gatkuoth, Lt. Gen. Wesley Welebe Samson, Lt. Gen. Ashab Khamis and Maj. Gen. Dhelling Keah and Maj. Gen. Ayuen Dot representing Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC).

He also revealed that while the delegates were on ground clashes erupted between the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and civilians in Nasir County which then extended to the SPLA-IO base.

Gabriel said that there was also a separate attack on February 12, 2024 on the SPLA-IO post near Wunaliet in Central Equatoria State.

“The SPLA-IO high command continued with its mission to call upon its forces to get ready for phase II, despite the intentional violation. This shows commitment to the implementation of the transitional security arrangements,” Gabriel said.

“The Acting Chief of General Staff will continue with this mission to Cantonment sites in Greater Equatoria and also Greater Bar-El Ghazal regions within the coming days so that phase II commence uninterrupted,” he added.

On February 16, 2024, the visiting United Nations (UN) human rights experts said that they have documented cases of abductions leading to killings, forced marriages, sexual slavery, and even trafficking attributed to “armed groups” and also members of armed forces.

In August 2022, the revitalized transitional government of national unity graduated the first batch of 52000 unified forces out of the total of 83000 required under the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.

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