South Sudan rebel forces under the country’s former vice President Dr. Rieck Macher have urge the citizens in Nimule and other border towns to vacate the strategic towns along the South Sudan-Uganda border with immediate effect.
According to Lt. Col. James Lokudu, who spoke to on behalf of the SPLA [IO] forces under the overall command of Maj.Gen. Martin Kenyi, the rebels attacked Nimule this morning to test the strength of government troops in the area.
The lieutenant colonel ascertained attacking the strategic town of Nimuli at around 1am this morning, however, regrets that their forces had to withdraw a few hours later to allow the citizens to safely vacate the town.
“We are people in the army; we are fighting for federalism and freedoms for our people. We do not want to hurt them in anyway, that is the work of Salva Kiir. We attacked this morning, very well calculated to chase away the genocidal soldiers of tyrant Salva Kiir only. That is why we attacked only the army and police headquarters,” Lokudu said.
“After we saw many mothers and children running between bullets in the dark trying to escape to safety, we told our troops to back down and withdraw to allow civilians leave the town,” he continued.
Col. Lokudu explains that their forces attacked Malakaya, Nimuli airport and the neighboring suburbs at around 1:25am and sustained the battle for a few minutes before the government troops and police began fleeing the town.
Lokudu said their forces captured two stores of ammunition, five mounted trucks and many AK47, RPGs and other light weapons in the town.
Fearing massive retaliation from the allied Ugandan-South Sudan troops, the rebels set blaze at least three trucks and the ammunition stores.
“We did not plan to stay in the town. We came purposely for the mission. We have destroyed what we could not carry – that all the government trucks, tanks and ammunition in the town” the Lt. Col. continues.
“We withdraw at 4am and we will come back any time. The citizens have to vacate this town, it is contested,” Lokudu warns.
Asked of their motive, the colonel replied: “this route must be shutdown to force Salva Kiir government to succumb for peace to return. This is final.”