By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
August 18, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) - Ethiopian forces carried out a military assault against South Sudanese rebel group who had been operating in its territory near the common border on 13 August.
According to officials in the Gambela region, 18 South Sudanese rebels were killed during the offences. However, their commander, Dak Kuyet, has escaped.
Officials said three Ethiopian soldiers sustained injuries during the military operation.
The South Sudanese rebel group crossed into Ethiopia last June following the killing of George Athor who had close links with Dak Kuyet.
The Gambela regional government has since been in contact with ederal government to combat the group. It borders South Sudan’s Jonglei and Upper Nile states.
The South Sudanese government has been informed of the attack which was said to have been very successful.
Earlier this month Gambela state vice president, Gatluak Tut, told local newspaper, The Reporter, that Ethiopia was deploying its troops to the area where the rebels were based, to hunt them down.
The rebels had been recruiting and training members around a small village called Wassera as part of their goal to oust President Salva Kir’s Juba government.
Ethiopia has an official criminal extradition agreements with both north and South Sudan obliging them to extradite wanted criminals and rebels
In June South Sudan extradited 14 Gambella attackers to Ethiopia after an attack in April in which 19 civilians were killed and eight injured.