SPLA-IO condemns killing of civilians in Malakal, says the attack was tribally motivated and well-planned

Pagak/Addis Ababa, February 19, 2016 (SSNA) — South Sudan’s rebel military command has condemned the attack it says was carried out by government elements who conspired with some government supporters who live in a UNMISS-run camp in Malakal, the capital of the oil-rich Upper Nile State.

Rebels also accuses Juba of “cowardice” for killing people who can’t defend themselves and for launching a tribally motivated attack on civilians.

The SPLA-IO military command says the tribally motivated killing of innocent civilians was planned in advance by Juba-backed soldiers with help from Dinka Padang militants who are allies to the government.

“This is [a] well planned and coordinated attack…including weapons smuggled inside the camp illegally before incident,” says a statement released by office of the SPLA-IO Spokesman.

“…UNMISS protection camps in Malakal town came under attacked Last night starting from 8:00pm to 4:00am by South Sudan army jointly with Dinka Padang militants operating in the town under command of the current governor of Upper Nile Mr.Chol Thon who executed this [attack],” the statement reads in part.

The armed opposition also added that it has indisputable evidence which link Upper Nile State Governor Chol Thon to the carnage that only targeted Nuer and Shilluk tribes and that the Governor should face justice.

Rebel military command reveals that it blames UNMISS for failing to execute its mandate and accuses UN of burying its head in the sand. The armed opposition also urges the United Nations to relocate civilians to safer places if UNMISS has no capacity to protect innocent civilians it was mandated to guard.

The attack which left at least 18 people dead including humanitarian aid workers raise questions whether or not the power-sharing deal will stick.

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