How SSPDF tried and failed to cover up an internal conflict by blaming NAS
On August 23, an administrative vehicle belonging to Kiir’s SSPDF was ambushed on its way to a base at Mile 55 resulting in the loss of the lives of 4 soldiers including one Colonel Bethuel Lasuba. The ambush, we can now confirm, was an internal SSPDF operation carried out by disgruntled and demoralized soldiers – a fact that the SSPDF Spokesman badly attempted to cover up by alleging that the National Salvation Front (NAS) was behind it.
According to our reliable sources deep inside the SSPDF HQs in Juba, there is growing resentment among soldiers due to a lack of salaries and services. Among the armed forces in Kiir’s service, only the Tiger Division, the National Security Service (NSS), and Kiir’s private militia known as the Mathiang Anyoor regularly receive salaries, supplies, and services.
The rest of the forces have not received salaries or food supplies for up to 8 months.
So the internal covert operation that targetted the administrative vehicle that was delivering salaries for a selected few stationed at Mile 55 comes as no surprise.
Among the armed forces in Kiir’s service, only the Tiger Division, the National Security Service (NSS), and Kiir’s private militia known as the Mathiang Anyoor regularly receive salaries…
Furthermore, the flawed August 31 press release issued a week after the attack should be seen as nothing more than a frantic cover-up of the brewing internal mutiny. The same growing group of disgruntled soldiers is threatening more actions or worse if Kiir’s regime fails to pay their over-due salaries.
Had NAS been responsible for the attack, there was nothing stopping it from boastfully claiming responsibility of a self-defense attack on an enemy that has been, since April this year, carrying out offensives on NAS positions across the country.
However, NAS feels obligated to set the record straight especially given the fact that Kiir’s regime has not only looted and emptied the state coffers including the Central Bank of South Sudan. The people of South Sudan have suffered enough under his (mis)rule. Unless the regime is changed and/or the root causes of these injustices are addressed, Kiir will continue to favor some soldiers over others, some groups over others, and his personal and tribal interest over national interests.