SPLA-IO soldiers jailed in DRC

SPLA-IO soldiers jailed in DRC
Lam Paul Gabriel, SPLA-IO Spokesperson (photo credit: credit)

At least 20 Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) officers and civilians have been arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Both the SPLA-IO officers and the civilians were arrested at bordering places with DRC in areas like Aba, Magoroho, Sunba, Nadiapai, and Bayote between 2017 and 2021.

According to a list and photo of the detainees shown to The City Review by Anglican Bishop Alfred William Lasu on Friday, five of the SPLA-IO officers were in the rank of Lt. Col and 1st Lieutenant and eight civilians including a 12-year old boy who was arrested on February 9, 2020.

According to Lasu, the boy was arrested from Aba at the border of DRC, charged with theft and subjected to imprisonment for five years.

Bishop Alfred William Lasu, the general overseer of Four Square Gospel Church in South Sudan, said the five SPLA-IO forces were imprisoned for years not exceeding five for crossing into the DRC territory with arms.

The jail terms

The eight civilians were sentenced to a jail term running between three to five after being charged with hunting in DRC land with guns.

The SPLA-IO officers are identified as Lt. Col. Moris Mungu Juma, 1st Lt. Simon Lomoro Abdall, Lt. Col. Salvatoria Benson, 1st Lt. Lou Steven Moris, Alfred Ladu. 

On the other hand, the civilians include Dawo Dato Magawa, Christopher Angbadimo, Samgdoligo Emma, Fungaro John, Cosmas Bidali, Mabe Karaba, and John Lokoroto.

The cleric said most of the names of the prisoners were still missing and that they were working closely with the authorities in South Sudan and DRC to get all the list including those who died in the prison.

When contacted for comments, SPLA-IO Spokesperson Col. Lam Paul said he was not aware of the report. However, he said he heard a report of some South Sudanese being detained in DRC but their identities were not disclosed.

“I did not hear about the report of SPLA-IO members being arrested but I got a report that some South Sudanese are being detained in DRC. If they are SPLA-IO members then we would need to find out from the government of DRC,” Lam told The City Review.

However, Lasu said the list would be presented to the Minister of Cabinet Affairs Dr Martin Elia Lomuro and the Speaker of the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly Jemma Nunu Kumba, and Dr Riek Machar, the First Vice President for follow on their release.