At around 10:00am Saturday morning of October 07, 2017, Ugandan helicopter gunships and war planes indiscriminately bombed SPLA (IO) positions and civilian targets in and around Waat, 90 % of which SPLM-SPLA (IO) now control. The Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) gunships have so far targeted Waat airstrip which SPLA (IO) solidly controls and other SPLA (IO) positions around the trenches where Juba regime soldiers, wounded or otherwise, are being confined and dying from lack of food, water and medical attention.
Indeed, the UPDF bombing of SPLA (IO) positions in and around Waat followed a three-day meeting in Kampala, Uganda, between Lt. General James Ajonga Mawut, Juba regime’s Chief of Defence forces, and very senior Ugandan military officials on launching further joint operations against SPLA (IO) forces across South Sudan.
In particular, another meeting between UPDF and Juba regime military officials on a joint military operation against SPLA (IO) bases and positions in Imotong and Yei River States was also held between October 05 and Saturday October 07, 2017 at the border town of Nimule, and this joint operation is just about to be carried out in the name or under the extremely dubious cover of extending Ugandan electricity to Kaya, Yei, Kajo-Keji and other areas.
Indeed, more than eleven UPDF security and intelligence officers have been deployed to Bentiu, Unity, to assess the situation, map and locate the advancing SPLA (IO) bases and positons to be bombed in the coming days or weeks.
Some other UPDF security and intelligence operatives have also been deployed in Torit to coordinate the bombing of SPLA (IO) forces under Cdr Major General Anthony Osuru Ongwajja, Sector Nine (9) Deputy Commander, Eastern Equatoria, Cdr Major General Patrick Ohiti Chapuho, Anyanya Division Commander, and Cdr Brigadier General George Onek Lam, Anyanya Division Deputy Commander, Imotong State.
No doubt, while the gallant and brave SPLA (IO) forces of Division Eight (8) under the command of Cdr Major General Otong Liak and Cdr Major Michael Nyak avoided the UPDF air raid and repulsed Juba regime’s desperate attempt to retake Waat airstrip and evacuate the notorious General Johnson Gony Beliew and the Bieh state deputy Mr.Teah Gatjiak Wiek to Juba, SPLA (IO) is also fully aware of the fact that the ongoing air raids and joint operations are altogether intended to frustrate IGAD, counter and undermine the ongoing consultations on the resuscitation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) High Level Revitalization Forum (IGAD-HLRF).
The SPLA-IO therefore would like to once again remind the people of South Sudan, the Troika, United Nations (UN) and indeed the international community that the Ugandan military re-intervention and meddling in South Sudan’s internal affairs will not only escalate the ongoing conflict, prolong the suffering of South Sudanese, cause more deaths, displace more, but also exacerbate and worsen the already very dire humanitarian condition in South Sudan.
The Ugandan re-intervention, if not stopped immediately, may soon provoke a regional war, since Uganda is not at all the only country in the region that has vested in South Sudan.