Former South Sudan vice president Riek Machar has denied staging roadblocks that have claimed several lives along Juba road.
At least 127 people were killed in an attack on four lorries ferrying people from Yei to Juba last week.
The government condemned the targeted killings blaming Machar for turning his group into terrorists.
“Salva Kiir’s Regime instead qualifies to be labelled as a state-sponsoring terrorism,” said Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak.
He added: “If the word terrorism derives from the act of “terror” or terrorizing innocent people or civilians for that matter, the current rogue regime of Salva Kiir is the one to be labelled as a state-sponsoring acts of terror which could be described as terrorism carried out by its terrorist-like soldiers, and not the pro-democratic forces and freedom fighters of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) as alleged by the rogue regime.”
According to Dak, Kiir’s propagandists and hired officials just throw words or pick terminologies that can instead best describe them “without first giving it a “proper” thought”.
He said the regime’s undisciplined, wild, unruly and disorderly forces have been the ones known for “terrorizing” civilians in South Sudan.
“They have massacred tens of thousands of innocent unarmed civilians right in the capital, Juba, from 15 December 2013.”
“They have been terrorizing civilians in Equatoria region, including letting loose their cattle to graze in the farms of the civilians, guarded by commanders.”
He accused Kiir’s forces of indiscriminately shooting at peaceful civilian protestors in Wau, massacring hundreds of them and continued to attack villages.
“Throughout the country, they have been kidnapping, torturing, raping and killing civilians, burning their houses and looting their moveable properties; and that is “terror.””
He further accused the regime’s forces of shooting dead a journalist at the Terrain Hotel in Juba on July 10, 2016, simply because of his ethnic identity; that was an act of terror targeting ethnicities.
“They raped even foreigners, like they did to American female citizens and this was an act of terror.”
“Their undisciplined soldiers shot at American diplomats right in front of Salva Kiir’s Republican Palace in July; and this was actually terrorism, targeting American government officials. The list is very long!”
Dak said the forces of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) are not responsible for any attacks “targeting” civilians anywhere in the country.
He noted that opposition forces’ discipline and respect for civilians and their properties was witnessed by residents of Juba themselves during the July violence where all the areas they briefly controlled, including some of Gudele area, were not looted, while the regime’s forces looted every piece of civilians’ belongings they could get their fingers on.
This was confirmed by their chief, Paul Malong Awan, in his recorded public statements.
“Our forces are not responsible for the alleged killing of civilians, women and children along Juba-Yei road or anywhere!”
“However, there is one thing that should be made clear and the rogue regime’s forces should stop doing; and that is using civilians as human shield, as well as using commercial vehicles or non-military vehicles to transport their fighters as a camouflage.”
He said the regime’s forces have resorted to using commercial vehicles for carrying their soldiers and also putting civilians on board as human shield.
“This is another criminal act which puts the lives of civilians at risk and the regime should stop it immediately.”
Mabior Garang de Mabior, spokesperson of the SPLM-IO faction, told Radio Tamazuj that their group does not have a policy of killing civilians and that the movement will conduct its own investigation into these killings.
“What happened is bad and we condemn it, and we will investigate the incident,” said Garang.
For his part, Ateny Wek Ateny, South Sudan’s presidential spokesperson, said that a committee headed by the presidential advisor on military affairs Daniel Awet Akot was formed by President Kiir to investigate the incident.