The main rebel group in South Sudan has threatened to stop oil production in the country, this comes a day after it released three foreign oil workers it had kidnapped earlier in the month.
An official of the group, the South Sudan people’s Liberation Movement Opposition (SPLM IO) Dak Doup Bichok said the government is using oil revenue to purchase weapons to kill civilians.
“This money is going to their pocket (of government officials) and for buying arms for killing our people. If we have chance to stop the oil production, we will do it,” he added.
This money is going to their pocket (of government officials) and for buying arms for killing our people. If we have chance to stop the oil production, we will do it.
Bichok confirmed the rebel group had released three foreign oil workers abducted in the Adar fields oil-rich Upper Nile state earlier in March.
He noted that the three were released after officials from their countries spoke with rebel leader Riek Machar. He said the freed oil workers were flown to the capital, Khartoum via Addis Ababa on Thursday and taken to their countries’ embassies.
The country’s Information Minister, Michael Makuei early in the month said the government received reports that the rebel forces were demanding a $1 million ransom for the oil workers release.
According to him, the South Sudan’s Transitional Government of national Unity does not deal with terrorists.
However, Duop denied his group demanded ransom for the oil engineers. Adding that they did not demand anything, but released them without any deal, he told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus.
He said that the SPLM 10 is not a terrorist group, but instead fights for the rights of South Sudanese people.
According to the group, repeated warnings have been given to national and international oil companies to abandon the oil fields.