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Authorities warn army unit in W. Equatoria risks relations with DR Congo

Gen. James Nando

By Johnson Juma Batal

An army unit awaiting integration into the South Sudan People’s Defence Force, stationed in Western Equatoria, is acting in manners that risk bilateral relations with neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, the office of the governor said.

According to a statement issued on Saturday by the office of governor Alfred Futuyu Karaba, “the presence of SSPDF under the command of Gen. James Nando in Ezo is destabilizing the security situation in the area and now creating conflict between South Sudan and DRC.”

That Saturday, “Gen. James Nando and his forces in the morning hour confronted with the forces of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and detained one of their soldiers,” it said.

The governor demanded Gen. Nando to release the soldier immediately and also asked the government in Juba to withdraw him from Western Equatoria “as his deployment is not official in the state.”

Reached by phone in Juba, SSPDF spokesperson, Lul Ruai Koang said Gen. Nando is no longer based in Western Equatoria State.

Gen. Nando’s forces were relocated to Maridi Unified Training Center when crisis began in Tambura last year with him personally staying in Juba since May last year.

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