The Director for Information & Public Relations of the SPLM/A-IO issued today a press statement on the events taking place in the western bank of Upper Nile. One has to struggle to understand the English which must have been a literal translation from a local language. All the same one grasps some points here and there. This is the subject of this statement.
1. The Director contradicts himself when he claims that our forces attacked Hamra (his Amara) and were taught “unforgettable esson”, then in the same breath concludes that “Now, the SPLA-IO has taken a full control of Amara (sic)”. However hard the SPLA-IO tries to distort the facts, the truth oozes out through their lies.
The meaning of his claim is that they were in control of Hamra when the NDM forces of Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, attacked it and got repulsed. If that were to be the case, how then did the same force take control of a place they were already in?
2. The indisputable truth is that it was the forces of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) that were in Hamra since last ovember. They were attacked by Johnson Olony’s forces on Tuesday the 3rd instant. Olony’s forces moved from Kaka to attack Hamra at the northern part of northwestern Upper Nile. This force was repulsed and dispersed after sustaining heavy casualties in manpower and material as we reported yesterday.
Yesterday, a bigger force from Johnson Olony’s Agwelek moved from Kaka again and was joined by the SPLM/A-IO forces in Kola and Kuek, and attacked Hamra again at about 11:00 am today. Our forces made a tactical withdrawal and the attacking force occupied Hamra. Therefore, it was the NDM forces that were the victim of an unprovoked attack from a combined Agwelek and SPLM/A-IO force.
3. It is common knowledge that Agwelek has behaved all along in relation to SPLM/A-IO as a movement within a movement. Theirs has been a marriage of convenience. So is the case in their enmity towards the National Democratic Movement (NDM).
Concrete evidence proves that Agwelek is in cahoots with the regime in Juba which has been supplying it with money through known individuals loyal to the regime. Their joint project with the Juba government is for Agwelek to take over all the areas west of the Nile not under government control from the border with Sudan to Tonga so that the steamers can move freely between Renk and Juba and the 28 states project is guaranteed.
For Riek Machar, the struggle is a power project and hence nothing that can interfere with that should be allowed. He sees the presence of the NDM on the ground as obstructing that ambition. As such from day one he didn’t see the NDM as an ally in the struggle against the Juba regime but a competitor that must be denied presence on the ground. Riek Machar and Olony had a common purpose in fighting the NDM.
4. As soon as Olony landed in Megenis in November last year, he started planning his moves. He attempted the attack on Hamra in early December last year but failed because the soldiers defied his orders.
Without shame, Agwelek and SPLM/A-IO turned things around and claimed that there was an attempt on Olony’s life. How on earth somebody could think of attacking somebody who has a huge force armed to teeth, as he was then and always, is mind-boggling. It is their culture to twist facts and turn them around to suit their purposes. This is what they are doing today.
5. The orders to mount an attack on Hamra in December and in the last two days were issued by Dr Riek Machar himself who, in his wishful thinking, believes that if NDM forces were driven out of Hamra the NDM will be denied presence in the field and he will have the monopoly of armed resistance.
When the attack on Hamra failed in December, Olony moved to Kaka to consolidate his collaboration with Juba. In Kaka, he received ammunition from the government army garrison in Melut and promoted the soldiers that were reluctant to fight the NDM into his meaningless Brigadiers and major-Generals.
6. It is the ammunition that Olony’s Agwelek got from the Juba regime that Riek’s SPLM/A-IO used today to fight the forces of NDM. Yet, they have the audacity to accuse the latter of becoming “SPLM-IG Militia”. Wonders never cease!
7. If the SPLM/A-IO believes they were fighting the Juba regime why didn’t they attack Wadakona which is a stone’s throw from Kola? In order to attack the NDM at Hamra, Olony had to travel from Kaka leaving behind Wadakona. If they were fighting the regime in Juba why didn’t he attack Wadakona together with their allies the SPLM/A-IO?
Fundamentally, Olony left behind Watajwok, Lelo and Detang which are occupied by the Juba army to come and attack the NDM forces at Hamra. Why didn’t he start his attacks with them?
8. The SPLM/A-IO propaganda that “Gabriel Tang and Okiech have been trying for the last two weeks to take over the forces of SPLM/A-IO as well as the forces of AGWELEK to secure Lam Akol military presence in Upper Nile” is as bogus as it is ridiculous. The NDM is there on the ground and doesn’t need to take over any other force. It is cheap propaganda to portray NDM in bad light. We will be there with or without SPLM/A-IO and with or without Agwelek.
9. What we know is that both projects of three axis of evil that is Olony, Riek Machar and Taban Deng will eventually fail. Olony will fail because the gallant forces of Agwelek will not sell their principles and Chollo land for coins of silver that are provided by Taban Deng.
Riek will also fail because his lies cannot be sustained indefinitely. He is bent on seeing that since the roof is falling on him, it must fall on all.
10. We bow and salute martyr Gabriel Tang Ginya who fell heroically today. He was not captured as the enemies of our people claim, but fell fighting like a lion. We also regret the unnecessary loss of lives between those who claim to have a common objective. Their blood will continue to haunt the self-seeking traitors.
11. We would like to assure the masses of our people who are suffering under the repressive oppressive ethnocentric regime in Juba that the NDM will not be detracted by the self-interested groups to fight small and senseless battles, but shall remain focused to achieve its set objectives in bringing about a genuine change in our war weary country.
Long live the struggle of our People
Long live South Sudan
A luta continuaNDM)
For/ the Spokesman, The National Democratic Movement (NDM)