Tuesday, April 05, 2016

SPLM-IO Denies Involvement in Looting Food Items in Fangak
April 4, 2016 (BOR) – Members of South Sudan’s armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) have reportedly denied allegations that they looted 300 metric tons of relief items that belonged to the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) meant for over 300,000 needy people.

The, items looted from Ayod village in South Sudan’s newly-created state of Fangak have since not been recovered.

Fangak state’s information minister, James Lony, who visited Ayod town over the weekend said the armed opposition denied involvement in the looting of those trucks.

He said one of the SPLM-IO commanders, whose names he declined to divulge, blamed the incident on the White army, a group initially linked to the armed opposition faction.

Last month, a convoy of trucks ferrying humanitarian relief items donated by the United States aid arm (USAID) were looted before reaching Ayod town by an unknown group.

The incident, Lony stressed, was likely to worsen the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in the remote location.

“Up to now, we are in consultation with leaders in the opposition forces, discussing on how they can facilitate and allow passage of humanitarian convoy, not to destruct the convoy from going to deliver services to people”, he said.

An estimated over 300,000 civilian, who gathered to wait for the items that were being transported reportedly left Ayod town for villages, currently controlled by the SPLM-IO.

Lony, however, called on the armed opposition leadership to grant safe humanitarian access to civilians in Fangak state.

“It will not be good for SPLM in opposition in to destruct the humanitarian trucks or aid workers. This time we are in the interest of peace, all of us should work to make sure that peace prevail in the country,” said the minister, further adding “Let us leave what the war has taken from us, and let us return to the re-building of the country”.


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