JUBA – The office of South Sudan’s minister of defense, Angelina Teny, is calling for calm, after SPLM-IO supporters criticized her over her silence on South Sudan People’s Defense Forces attacks on SPLA-IO positions in the country’s Central Equatoria state.
Last week, SPLA-IO forces in Moroto, a joint training center hosting opposition and government forces, were attacked in what appeared to be an escalation of fighting that raised fears over the future of the revitalized peace agreement angering SPLM-IO members and supporters.
Mrs. Teny is a senior SPLM-IO member who is also the group’s Chairperson of Security and Defense and represents the main armed opposition group in several peace mechanisms including the joint defense board that is responsible for oversight of the reunification of the revitalized forces under the 2018 peace deal.
In a statement signed by the defense minister’s press secretary, Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel, the defense ministry said the “the notion of looking at forces in cantonment sites and unified Training Centres as under the command of the SPLA-IO or SSPDF is a complete lack of knowledge of the Agreement.”
“The JMCC is tasked with responsibility of the assembly areas, cantonment sites and barracks while the JTSC is responsible for Training Centres.
“This misunderstanding of the Agreement is the one that is currently causing such unwanted violations.
“Finally, the Minister of Defence and Veteran’s Affairs, calls for calm and patience while the JDB does its work to arrest the situation in Morota.”