SSPDF directed to deploy forces to Upper Nile to ‘protect’ civilians – Kiir’s office
South Sudan’s presidency said on Wednesday that South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF), the country’s army, has been directed by the president to deploy forces to the conflict-stricken Upper Nile state to protect civilians.
JUBA – South Sudan’s presidency said on Wednesday that South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF), the country’s army, has been directed by the president to deploy forces to the conflict-stricken Upper Nile state to protect civilians.
This comes after the president said during a meeting of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) faction that he cannot stop the ongoing violence in Upper Nile state where there are reported fighting in Maiwut County and the continued attacks by armed youth on civilians in the Shilluk Kingdom.
In a statement, the presidency denied that the president has removed his efforts from finding a permanent solution to the deadly conflict that has killed thousands and displaced more and that he was quoted by media houses out of context.
The statement then revealed that the president who is the commander in chief of the SSPDF has directed army chief Gen. Deng Wol to deploy forces to Upper Nile region to provide the necessary protection of civilians amid attacks by the armed youth also known as White Army.
“While deploring the sub-national violence in the Upper Nile Region that is taking toll on innocent civilians, the President said he cannot stop it alone. Some media houses took this statement out of context by insinuating that the President has taken his hands off this issue. This interpretation is not true,” the statement said in part.
“In fact, the President has already directed the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) to deploy unified SSPDF in the area to protect the civilians. To anyone who might have mistakenly read this statement that way, let me clarify that the President was referring to the complex nature of actors behind this violence that makes providing immediate solutions challenging,” the statement signed by Kiir’s press secretary added.
“Despite this complexity, the President is determined to do whatever it takes to end this violence in Upper Nile and other regions of South Sudan where our people are killing each other.
“To those who listened to his entire speech yesterday, the President instructed State Governors and Chief Administrators to prioritize security within their areas and also with their neighbours.”
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