Fifty SPLA Soldiers Defected to SSLA
November 29, 2011 (SSNA) — The leadership of SSLM/A congratulated fifty five SPLA soldiers who defected to the Movement today in Mankien, Unity State. This force is composed of three majors and five captains. As they were welcomed by Maj. Gen. Mathews Pul Jang, they expressed happiness for joining revolutionary forces who are fighting to transform South Sudan from a corrupt state to a morally clean and caring state which is anchored on freedom, equality and justice. They denounced the mistreatment of SPLA soldiers by Kiir Mayardit and explained that most SPLA soldiers will join the revolutionary forces to topple Kiir’s regime from power. They noted that the SPLA soldiers are not being paid on time and are being treated like third-class citizens in a country they liberated with their blood. They also narrated that there are assassinations taking place daily within the SPLA army against soldiers who questioned corruption in the army.
The defection of the SPLA soldiers also brought to light the true crimes against humanity committed against the civil population in Unity State, particularly in Bul Nuer area in May, 2011. It is now revealed that Gov. Taban Deng Gai ordered the SPLA soldiers to “rape every Bul Nuer girl they find and take the cattle because Bul Nuer are against his government”. Besides, the SPLA soldiers revealed that Maj. Gen. Gatduel Gatluak, Maj. Gen. Koang Chuol Ranleak, Lt. Gen. James Hoth Mai. Lt. Gen. Pieng Deng Majiok and Maj. Gen. Wilson Deng, ordered the SPLA soldiers in Unity State to shoot any civilian who refuses forced relocation to where the SPLA army wants civilian to move to in order to deprive SSLA public support. The policy that Bul Nuer area should be depopulated as a strategy to deprive freedom fighters public support was designed by criminal Taban Deng and it is currently being experimented in Mayom County. However, the policy is meeting a bloody resistance from Bul Nuer chiefs who called for popular military uprising by establishing White Army that would resist Taban Deng’s extermination policy.
With the current revelations from the SPLA soldiers who defected to SSLA, the South Sudan civil societies and human rights organizations should immediately appeal to International Criminal Court (ICC) to indict Governor Taban Deng for crimes against humanity committed against Nuer civil population in Unity State.
The SSLA calls upon the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to observe its mandate to protect the civil population from the SPLA. Since South Sudan became an independent country on July, 9, 2011, the UNMISS should step up protection of civil population and monitoring of human rights violations being committed by the SPLA and Gov. Taban Deng Gai. In Unity State, the SPLA army committed arbitrary and unlawful killings in towns by targeting those who criticized criminal Taban Deng Gai. The state government does not have any respect for the integrity of the persons, including freedom from arbitrary or unlawful arrests.
Although the imposed Interim Constitution of South Sudan prohibits such practices; however, the Unity States’ security forces continued to torture, beat and harass suspected political opponents and others. The worst part of unlawful killings is the assassination of Col. Gatluak Gai one week after signing peace accord with the SPLA and the State Government.
The SSLA would like to remind the UNMISS that human rights abuses are culture of SPLM/A Movement. The current leaders of the government of South Sudan committed war crimes and crimes against humanity against South Sudan civil population during the years of the liberation struggle. The same inhuman treatments and punishments were echoed in May this year against the Bul Nuer civil population in violation of international laws which prohibit war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The SSLA is calling upon ICC Prosecutor to immediately indict Gov. Taban Deng Gai for commission of crimes against humanity in Bul Nuer area and other parts of Unity State. The SSLA will provide witnesses to the ICC as soon as the trial of criminal Taban Deng takes place. There are now twenty two SPLA soldiers who defected to SSLA and are willing to testify as witnesses against Taban in any criminal proceedings at The Hague.