Juba/Pagak, December 6, 2016 (SSNA) — The military command of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) has refuted claims by South Sudan national army (SPLA) spokesman Lul Ruai Koang on social media that the rebel forces who captured Commissioner of Kangapo County of Yei River State Juluce Tabule over the weekend now demand that the government pays a $2.5 million ransom in exchange for the detained commissioner.
The SPLA Spokesperson posted a comment on his Facebook profile today.
“This is to inform the people of South Sudan, region and the international community that armed terrorists affiliated to Warmonger Riek Mach[ar] have demanded $2.5Million USD in order to release Mr. Julius-Tabule Commissioner of Kangapo- County in Yei River State whom they abducted over the weekends with his three bodyguards,” Koang wrote today.
In response, the SPLA-IO blasted Koang for calling the armed opposition “terrorists,” adding that the claim of the ransom is nothing but part of government outrageous propaganda it has been feeding the people of South Sudan and the international community for years.
In the statement, the SPLA-IO says South Sudanese and the international community should know that the armed opposition is fighting for a cause and that the claim of ransom is false, adding that Tabule is being treated like any other prisoners in Upper Nile, Jonglei, and Unity States.
“We refute these unfounded allegations, we have never asked for any ransom since the war broke out, we are fighting for a cause, and we will never ask for a ransom,” a senior rebel officer said.
“This is just one of government dirty propagandas. The people of South Sudan and the world know exactly how Juba talks,” he asserted.
The armed opposition calls the accusations “misleading” and warned that the detained government official would soon declare his defection to the SPLM/A-IO.
“The claim by the government of South Sudan is a misleading nature or propaganda and we would like to inform the general public that the captive is in a good care, healthy and being kept in safe-conduct by the administration of the SPLA/IO. It would be his decision to join the SPLA/IO and announce his defection to the people movement in the coming few days,” the statement added.
The office of the rebel military spokesperson described Mr. Koang as “somebody who can lie even if he knows what he is saying is a pure lie.”