Tensions remain high in neighbouring South Sudan as the two principals President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar engage in serious violations of the peace agreement.
A military official says six heavy-loaded military tanks were deployed to surround the residence of the 1st First Vice President of The Republic of South Sudan, Dr. Riek Machar Teny on Thursday.
During the same operations, an SPLA-IO’s officer, Lt. Col. Gorge Gismalla Alexander was shot dead by alleged SPLA’s military intelligence allied to President Salva Kiir.
The soldiers who reportedly killed the official were seen cruising in four (4) military painted vehicles under plate numbers; XXL, VX, XXX, XLI.
On the same day, Juba witnessed widespread military armament among government soldiers.
Most activity was in Luri, a private military camp of president Kiir in the west of capital Juba, where hundreds of militias have been trained or are undergoing military training.
“There are 10 military vehicles that are allocated to National security (NS) and other security forces,” the official told Insider.
A source from within military headquarters (HQS) in Juba, said the event of killing Lt. Col. Gismalla came amid reports that Dr. Riek Machar and his troops were readying another coup attempt for the second time in South Sudan.
In December 2013, Kiir accused soldiers loyal to Machar of trying to overthrow the government.
The coup, which Machar denied, led to a civil war that lasted until 2015 when a peace agreement was signed at Addis Ababa peace talks in Ethiopia.
Another source from ministry of defence and veteran affairs said the General Chief of SPLA, General Paul Malong, was strengthening his grip on Juba’s security detail ahead of President Kiir’s quiet flight to Germany.
A leading figure from SPLM revealed that in a meeting of Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), almost all the members of the tribal council disagreed on who would replace Kiir or represent him while in Germany.
The elders rejected Paul Malong as the caretaker for presidency until president is back home.
JCE is a Dinka tribal council, which is tasked to advise president Kiir on the affairs of the country and the way forward.
On 4 June 2016, President Kiir travelled to Entebbe in Uganda to meet Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyuhu, who is currently visiting the region.
Kiir also took part in the regional summit on terrorism while at home, security remained tight in the capital to prevent anything from going wrong.
Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, has not responded to our inquiry on the subject.
SPLA accused of gunning down Lt Col Gismala
The Military Spokesperson of the SPLA-IO, Colonel William Gatjiath Deng, released a press statement on Monday accusing SPLA forces of killing Lt Col George Alex Sandra aka George Gismala.
“National Security agents shots our cars and firing random bullets even near the residence of the 1st Vice President Dr Riek Machar,” Deng said citing the violations SPLA and national security have allegedly committed in Juba over a period of two weeks.
He said in 16/6/2016, National Security shot the car of the 1st Vice President at Gudela road and 2. shot also the car of the share command Cdr. John Mabiek Gaar at Mongateen on 19/6/2016.
“3. On the 2nd of July/2016, the SPLA-IG, killed our good officer by the name “Lt.Col. George Alex Sandra” while he was found sitting with his brothers shot him and take him away and brought his body back at night and place it at the Juba Teaching Hospital.”
“4. They have planned to assassinate all former National Security and IM officers and personnel who deserted to the SPLA-IO. 5. They keep 137-IO members in their detention and they don’t want release them, where is the peace?”.
He accused the troops loyal to President Kiir of reneging on the implementation of the security arrangements, including establishment of cantonment areas for SPLA-IO in Greater Equatoria and Greater Bahr el Ghazal regions.
Deng said their partner has not implemented the required redeployment of forces to 25 km outside the national capital.
SPLM-IO accuses govt forces of preparing to attack Unity
Radio Tamazuj reports that SPLM-IO in South Sudan’s Unity state on Monday accused government forces of preparing to attack their positions in the state.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, SPLM-IO Spokesperson in Unity state James Yuaj warned of new attacks in the state following government military build-up in Koch, Rubkuai, Leer and Tharjath areas.
“There is military build-up by government forces in the recent days. They brought huge military equipment and ammunition in Koch, Tharjath, Rubkuai and Leer,” said Yuaj.
For his part, SPLA Spokesperson Brig. Lul Ruai Koang denied this accusation, saying government forces are not ready to enter into another war.
He added that they are committed to the implementation of the peace agreement in South Sudan.
“We have no any intention to attack these areas. These are our positions and what is their problem if we have presence in our positions? If there is military build-up this is in our positions and it could be for administrative matters. We are in peace and we don’t have any problem with anybody,” said Koang.