This is a game-changer as the conflict of South Sudan escalates, it has become less clear of all the actors, as there isn’t only SPLM/A and SPLM-IO, there are more rebels and even more armed deserters who works against the Juba Regime. Therefore, the picture be more distorted, but the similarities between the rebels are that they all work to end the Presidency of Salva Mayardiit Kiir. They are not interested in keeping his regime alive.
So this news are breathtaking:
“South Sudanese government has dropped containers of toxic gas on rebel-held areas in Bieh State, a senior rebel military source told the South Sudan News Agency on Saturday. The official who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak said the government used at least three military helicopters to drop the poison gas. “After days of failed attempt to capture our areas in Waat, the genocidal regime in Juba decided to use poisonous gas on our gallant forces and civilians. The gas is suffocating people. People affected by this gas attack are experiencing severe coughing,” the officer told the South Sudan News Agency” (SSNA, 2017).
That the SPLA, the Government forces has now taken it further, there has been earlier reports of sexual assaults, burning of villages and harassment of aid workers. So the situation in the different states is various condition, as the SPLM-IO and the other rebels are continuing to fight the government forces. This makes it harder for the SPLA, as they don’t have one enemy and one rebel outfit, but they have many. Therefore, even as the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) or the Juba Regime tries to kick-off the National Dialogue in the states of Lou Nuer, it is a bit disrespectful that they are delivering church services to the people of Bieh State and Akobo State. THis with the knowledge of the poison gas drops done by the TGoNU army SPLA.
“One senior rebel official in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, told the South Sudan News Agency today that the armed opposition intelligence branches have evidence showing Ugandan government is secretly assisting South Sudanese government in the gas campaign” (SSNA, 2017).
That the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) are helping SPLA/M isn’t new, what is new that the UPDF are helping again the TGoNU, like they did before the newest peace agreement between SPLM/A and SPLM-IO. Certainly, this also shows why Gen. Taban Deng Gai, the Vice President spoke of peace with the President Yoweri Museveni recently. This seems to be fitting together in a glove. As the VP of South Sudan wasn’t travelling to Uganda with peace in mind, but with the intelligence of the help of Ugandan army inside South Sudan, wouldn’t be the first or the last time they are involved.
President Museveni likes to get his army hired for the foreign exchange and the wealth it creates for him, as the loyalty to UPDF is still strong. As the possibility for career inside the army is stil there. But the news that the UPDF are helping SPLA with doing crimes against humanity.
That the reports that the SPLA are together with the UPDF dropping chemical weapons in Bieh State. And certainly the fighting is monitored, but the UNMISS mission is clearly using a scripted language to make sure it doesn’t make headlines:
“Fresh fighting has broken out between government SPLA and opposition forces in a number of locations including Raga in the west of South Sudan, Waat in Jonglei to the east and in the area of Wunkur and Tonga in the northern Upper Nile region” (…) “UNMISS continues to push for access to areas affected by the conflict. Despite the challenges in reaching some parts of the country, the Mission has successfully deployed a number of peacekeeping patrols to deter violence and protect civilians. UNMISS is also monitoring any human rights abuses as a part of its mandate” (UNMISS – ‘Restraint urged on warring parties in South Sudan as violence escalates’ 15.04.2017).
That UNMISS has a mission, but the intelligence of chemical warfare in Bieh State is proving that the SPLA are keeping vital information hidden from the UNMISS. This is happening as the SPLA are fighting on multiple fronts. So the use of stronger force to silence the rebels seem needed and the knowledge of the use of chemical warfare should be put on display for the whole world to see. So that all the lives lost and the innocent dying for the greed of power get their justice proven. Since the SPLA and SPLA/M doesn’t care about now, they use all sorts of methods to stay in power. They even use the vile force of poison to kill civilians and rebels.
That SPLM-IO and other rebels should worry, as the unforgiven SPLA have now started to drop poisons gas on their own civilians as well as the possible rebels. This is proof of the extent that the SPLM/A or the TGoNU do now. That the innocent dies, that the refugees continue to come to the neighbouring countries like Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia. So, the international community should be extra worried, as the new settlement are opened in Uganda and that the vicious attacks in Bieh State.
That chemical warfare are now happening together with the stalemate between the SPLA and all the other rebel factions in the Republic. This is not making a true statement of wishing peace or national dialogue as innocent civilians die in acts against humanity. Peace.
SSNA – ‘South Sudan drops poisonous gas on rebel-held territories’ (15.04.2017) link: http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/index.php/2017/04/15/south-sudan-drops-poisonous-gas-rebel-held-territories/