Juba/Pagak, August 18, 2017 (SSNA) — South Sudan’s main armed opposition, SPLM/A-IO, under the leadership of former First Vice President Riek Machar has acquired new shoulder surface-to-air missiles capable of destroying high altitude fighter jets, a senior SPLA-IO officer said Friday.
The disclosure of the acquisition of the new missile comes barely a week after the armed opposition seized their headquarters, Pagak.
The official warned that Juba, Kampala, Cairo, Asmara, and Sudanese rebels will smell the smoke of their new advanced missiles.
South Sudanese rebels have been consistently implicating Uganda, Egypt, Eritrea, and Darfur rebels in the ongoing civil war.
The rebel military official who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) in Pagak that the new anti-aircraft missile they acquired is sophisticated enough to destroy an airplane or jet up to up to 90,000 feet.
“I can tell you that this missile is ground-breaking, its capabilities are great. This anti-jet missile can destroy aircraft or other missiles,” the officer explained.
The rebel military General who talked exclusively to the SSNA declared that SPLA-IO is now on full-pledged to depose what he labeled as “Juba’s bloody regime,” accusing Kiir’s government of choosing a destructive path over peace.
“This Juba’s bloody regime only listens to firepower and we will effectively deliver that,” he said.
“No worries, a tsunami-like war is in the making and Kiir and those who cause destruction to our country will know it,” he warned.
The armed opposition official refused to identify the name of the missile and where they bought it from, telling the SSNA reporter that “it is none of your business.”
The officer also disclosed to the South Sudan News Agency a major-check-up in the ranks and files of the SPLA-IO is already in the making. When asked to explain further, the officer simply said, “you should expect promotions, expulsions, and reassignments.”
It is not clear why some of the rebel military leaders would be expelled. However, the South Sudan News Agency was told by a SPLA-IO intelligence officer Khamis Mawwil that some armed opposition military officers were bribed and that punishment is imminent.
“All SPLA-IO military leaders are expected to fulfill their duties. Those who act in a way that benefits the enemies will be dealt with,” Khamis told the South Sudan News Agency.
A military General of the national army, the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF), at the Bilpham headquarters in Juba who demanded complete anonymity for fear of reprisal told the South Sudan News Agency that rebels recently used sophisticated weapons against government forces. He admitted that the armed opposition is now a real threat to the government. He, however, claimed that they knew who supplied the SPLA-IO with modern missiles.
“We know who gave them those dangerous weapons. Those weapons cannot be given to Riek Machar’s rebels,” he claimed.
Attempts to the office of the SPLA-IO Spokesperson Brig. General William Gatjiath Deng to confirm some of the claims in the report went unanswered.