September 6, 2011 (SSNA) — The SSLM/A condemns the SPLA Division Four for planting Anti-personnel mines which are now hampering free movements of civilians in Unity State. The Gov. of Unity State, Maj. Gen. Taban Deng Gai, ordered the SPLA army to plant Anti-personnel mines in major highways of the state to harm civilians and blame the SSLM/A. It came to our attention that the State Radio has been spreading propaganda for the last two weeks accusing the SSLM/A for planting mines in major highways frequently used by traders and civilians.
We want to assure the civil population of the Unity State that the SSLM/A had never planted anti-personnel mines in the highway going to Nhial Diew and Mayom Counties because we don’t have forces there. As the people of Unity State know, the SSLM/A has no forces in areas where mines are allegedly planted. What the State Radio is alleging is a smear campaign to tarnish the image of the Movement fighting to liberate the people of South Sudan in general and Unity State citizens in particular.
Since the SSLM/A started war of liberation in March, our Movement never planted anti-personnel mines because it is the violation of international laws which outlawed their use. Besides, our forces do not have anti-personnel mines that they could plant let alone lack of interest to use them. The SSLM/A has been fighting using AK-47s captured from the SPLA army. Whenever the SSLA engages the SPLA in a battle, it is the latter that usually plants mines to defend its garrisons. SPLA forces are the ones which buy anti-personnel mines using oil revenue to kill the people of South Sudan.
We have made it clear that the government in Juba does not care about the welfare of the people of South Sudan. Instead to focus on developing the South by channeling resources to food production, the SPLM’s regime is busy buying weapons and anti-personnel mines to kill its own people. The money the SPLA army spends on purchasing Anti-personnel mines a year could build roads, clinics, agricultural schemes and clean drinking water. The SPLM’s regime spends half a billion dollars a year to purchase weapons to kill its own people who demand democracy. Any democratic government which is driven by policies of transforming the lives of its own citizens could not spend such amount of money on weapons while its own people languish in abject poverty. South Sudan is a newly independent state which is faced with serious economic and social problems that need wise use of meager oil revenues.
Therefore, the SSLM/A calls upon the people of South Sudan to topple Kiir’s regime and replace it with democratic government which would spend money on development. The pressing needs of the people are clean drinking water, hospitals, roads and food. Importing weapons to kill people would not resolve the root causes of rebellion in South Sudan. What made the people of the South to rebel against the SPLM’s regime is because the Juba’s elites failed to deliver peace dividends to the people. Since the signing of the CPA in 2005, $7 billion dollars had been stolen by the corrupt guerrilla elites. To add insult to injury, the small clique of the guerrilla elites denied people the right to change them via ballot box using the SPLA army in 2010 elections. In any country where people are denied both development and democracy, the people have a right to overthrow corruption monarchs and replace them with democratically elected representatives. The case of Egypt is something that should inspire the people of South Sudan to liberate themselves from guerrilla dictators in Juba.