JUBA, SEPTEMBER 18, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – The secretary-general of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Peter Lam Both, has threatened to publicize the circumstances in which a rally by the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) was disrupted by the National Security Service (NSS).
On Saturday, leaders of the SSOA were at the basketball stadium in Nimra Talata when national security operatives arrived in three vehicles to tell them that they had orders “from the above” to shut down the rally, according to a senior member of the alliance.
The rally was organized by the opposition consortium to welcome its secretary-general and leader of the National Democratic Movement (NDM), Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, who returned to the country last month for the first time since 2020.
Peter Lam called on SSOA leaders to come out and speak to the public about the circumstances in which their rally was disrupted and threatened to do so himself if the opposition leaders failed to inform the public.
“We are waiting for the leaders of the SSOA to come out clearly and tell us what happened. Who called the National Security and police to intervene to disperse their meeting?” he said.
“If they don’t come out to tell the truth, we will do that because it seems the assumption of everyone is that ‘the so called above’ is assumed to be the SPLM leadership,” Lam added, pointing out that “we have been clear from day one that all parties are free to organize, hold rallies.”
For his part, SSOA’s secretary of information and member of VP Hussein Abdelbagi’s South Sudan Patriotic Movement (SSPM), denied that the event was disrupted by the National Security Service and claimed that the event was called off by the alliance alone.
“What is being reported is false and what happened is that every political party in South Sudan when it is doing any function, they must obtain a written pass from the political affairs unit of the security and we haven’t done that,” he said.
“So, we decided to cancel it on our own and there are no soldiers from the National Security Service who have come to disrupt it. Even the SPLM party under President Salva Kiir when they want to conduct a rally, they obtain documentation. So, who are we to contravene that?” he asked.