August 28, 2010 (Khartoum) — Mr Gier Chuang Aluong, the Government of Southern Sudan’s Minister in charge of security, held a press conference on the 26th instant in which he made baseless allegations against SPLM-DC and its Chairman, Dr Lam Akol, in connection with the Sudan Airways Helicopter that was held by the SPLA in Paloc airport early this month. As usual, these Spokesmen of GOSS would never rest until they drag the name of the SPLM-DC into their failures, blunders and inefficiency. But Gier Chuang has gone too far. He is quoted by the official GOSS website to have said the following:
“Critically, the minister explained that the crew and the passengers captured with the plane have given leads on the identities and motive of the sponsors of the operations. For instance, he explained that the crew reported that Dr Lam Akol have in the past contributed to the hiring of the helicopter and paid SDG 200,000 for ten hours’ operation to and from Belewic. (www.goss-online.org).
The minister is unashamedly manufacturing stories. We challenge him to produce the evidence he has on who among the crew said that, evidence of the payment and whether the money was paid for ‘the past’ or the particular flight that in which the helicopter was captured?
The lies of this small minister become more glaring when he is quoted by the same GOSS website as follows:
”Gen Gier explained that the SPLA received a tip from peace-loving members of the national intelligence about the helicopter, its trip and cargo on the 7th August 2010. The information intimated that the helicopter would deliver weapons and food supplies to Gen Athor. The SPLA together with the JIU laid ambush and intercepted the plane on its return trip. The minister explained that the security forces did not intercept the plane on the first leg of the trip to let it pick the passengers who would provide more information and evidence of the motive of the sponsors.” (www.goss-online.org).
You need not lay an ambush and intercept the plane; the route and time of the plane were known a priori and the plane in its forward journey did land in Paloc as scheduled. This is a misuse of the word “ambush” unfit of a General. If the allegation of Gier Chuang that the plane was carrying weapons and food supplies were to be believed, we would like to ask him a simple question: what “would provide more information and evidence of the motive of the sponsors” of the plane, intercepting it on the forward trip with the “weapons and food supplies” on board or seizing “passengers” on its return trip? Commonsense would suggest that it is better to catch the culprit red-handed. But commonsense is not so common to Gier Chuang and his ilk. Do not forget you are addressing intellectuals who will analyse every word you utter. On the incident in Paloc, the SPLA Spokesman, Kuol Deim, was quoted as saying:
“The units of SPLA Military Intelligence in charge of guarding the airport suspected the plane. When it was searched they found that it was carrying weapons, ammunition and nine military leaders of General Athor.” (Al Adath Arabic newspaper, No 1006 dated 12/8/2010 (in Arabic)).
Who do we believe, Gier Chuang or Kuol Deim, or none?
Gier Chuang has no credibility to talk on matters related to SPLM-DC. He was the one who misled the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly last June to lift the immunity of the SPLM-DC members in the Assembly on trumped up charges that they were involved in the horrendous murder of a Shilluk Paramount Chief in Panyikang County. The allegations were found for what they were; baseless. That day in the SSLA was a black spot in the history of Southern Sudan democracy. Up to now, the Assembly has not recovered from the repercussions of this sad episode. Gier Chuang seems to hold a personal grudge against George Athor and some observers think he was a factor in his mutiny.
Gier Chuang should stop besmearing the good name of SPLM-DC. He must present his claims to a credible court of law, otherwise, we will make him do so. It is an irony of fate that the security of South Sudan is in the hands of the likes of Gier Chuang who cannot tell the head from tail in such a complicated enterprise in this age of globalization.