May 1, 2015

South Sudan rebels accuse government forces of new attacks

South Sudanese armed opposition group led by former vice-president, Riek Machar, has accused government forces of continuing with violation of cessation of hostilities agreement.

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Rebel military press assistant, Dickson Gatluak Jock, on Thursday toldSudan Tribune that government forces attacked their positions in Omdoluth area, north of Renk town in the oil rich Upper Nile state on Wednesday.

“Our forces in Renk under [overall] command of Major General James Koang Chuol came under heavy attack on Wednesday afternoon from Juba SPLA faction,” said Jock.

“Around 2:00pm, SPLA forces crossed to our territory and launched an offensive against our forces in northern Renk county,” he added.

The purpose, he said, was to push back rebel forces from their initial bases. According to Jock, the fighting was ongoing since Wednesday as they were fighting in self-defence.

He said the fresh attacks in Renk by government troops aimed to regain more territories before the rainy season, saying the pro-government forces did the same in Bentiu when they attacked rebel military bases in Nhail Diu and Guit counties.

The assistant press official however said the rebel forces will not initiate any attacks unless in self-defence.

The rebels further alleged that around 3:00pm East Africa local time on Tuesday, Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) attacked villages in western part of unity state in Wichchiok,Tuarkiel and Dhorboor areas.

“The national army from South Sudan under command of Major General Mathew Pul Jang and other ally forces from Justice and Equality Movement or JEM from Darfur and Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North faction, known as SPLA-North burned down the villages and killed 25 civilians and destroyed properties.”

The move, he said, came after two days when the government troops launched an attack on rebel positions around unity state.

South Sudan’s two main warring parties SPLA-Juba and SPLA-IO keep trading accusations over ongoing fighting in various areas of the oil-producing Unity State.

SPLA-IO accused the government forces of attacking their positions in the state in Nhialdiu and Guit counties as well as areas in Mayom County and along the road leading to Pariang county.

Rebels however claimed that they inflicted heavy losses on the government forces. Jock added, SPLA-IO fighters managed to destroy two tanks and seized one tank in good condition.

Rebels also alleged that SPLA commander Kerubino Ruai Tap was wounded and has been flown to Juba for treatment.

The rebel official also claimed that Guit county Commissioner, Kawaya Chany, was also wounded in the clashes.

The rebels accused Sudanese rebels of involvement in those clashes.

(ST)

 

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