Home | News    Saturday 26 April 2014

Heavy fighting erupts in W. Bahr el Ghazal’s Mapel town

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April 25, 2014 (JUBA) – Heavy gun fire erupted between armed rival fighters in Mapel, a town south-west of South Sudan’s Western Bahr state capital, causing panic among the local population, military sources told Sudan Tribune on Friday.

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An SPLA soldier walks away from a vehicle while on patrol in Juba on 21 December 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

At least 10 gunmen were reportedly killed, while scores sustained injuries as the two sides attempted to gain control of the area. The clash was one of the heaviest ever witnessed in the area since violence erupted in the country late last year.

Eyewitnesses living near the Mapel area, where the clashes took place, said the battle was fierce, with opposing forces reportedly employing the use of different heavy machine guns, including heavy artillery and powerful rocket-propelled grenades.

It remains unclear what sparked the fighting as no official details have been released.

The spokesperson of pro-government forces said he was yet to obtain information about the Mapel incident, while the office of the state governor said it was still reaching out to the division commander and local command for additional information.

“I have no information of what happened in Mapel. I am not aware,” Philip Aguer told Sudan Tribune on Friday, without elaborating further.

Western Bahr el Ghazal’s deputy governor, however, said he had heard about the fierce fighting in Mapel, but was unable to provide more details on the military clashes.

“Yes, I heard there was a fighting this morning in Mapel but there is no official information coming out from the division commander. We are still gathering more details and we will let the public know what happened, hopefully by the end of the day,” Zachariah Garang told Sudan Tribune by phone.

A local administrative officer claimed that a 70-year old man was one of the victims allegedly killed in cold blood by fighters during Friday’s military unrest.

MASSIVE DEFECTION

A military officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the outbreak of fighting, claiming that over 150 soldiers broke away from the military barracks and fled into the bush.

“There was tension since yesterday (Thursday) when two colleagues within the military police exchanged unnecessary words. It started at the bus park area in Mapel town when one soldier refused to take orders from his superior, creating [an] unnecessary situation and raised security concern for civilians in the area but it was contained by the command,” the officer disclosed on Friday.

However, he was unable to reveal the number of people killed from both sides or how many sustained injuries during the melee.

A former deputy governor from Mapel confirmed the outbreak of fighting between rival forces, but was also unable to provide any details on the number of casualties suffered by forces.

“I just heard 10 people have been killed but I don’t know on which side they belong. Also there are reports of four other people wounded, but again I still do not have information on which side they belong. What I have been told by many people is that there was a fighting between soldiers,” Effesio Kon Uguak told Sudan Tribune by phone.

“It has nothing to do with the civilians. It was purely a misunderstanding within the army and ended there,” he added.

South Sudanese president Salva Kiir on Wednesday accused rebels of failing to honour a cessation of hostilities agreement signed between the two sides on 23 January.

(ST)

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  • 25 April 20:01, by Kim Deng

    The Mighty Nuer Warriors are burning down Dinka Kingdom to ashes.

    repondre message

    • 26 April 07:41, by Majongdit

      Hahahahahahha Kim Deng,
      You are dying of frustration...give yourself some hope. Here is what happened in Mapel. A Nuer soldier had a misunderstanding with some Dinka women who called him Nyagat. He fired at the women and he was gunned down by other soldiers and some fighting ensued. For your information, there is only a platoon of Nuer soldiers in Mapel. What can a platoon do?

      repondre message

    • 26 April 07:44, by Jewish Ally

      I am very unhappy seeing all South Sudanese dying in large numbers always because it is a lot to the nation, whether it is from the government or rebel side. but some idiots are praising this killing game. kim deng, midit bentiu son are tipical example of this.
      please let all think as South Sudanese and embrass peaceful coexistent among our tribes.

      repondre message

    • 26 April 08:34, by Gogrialboys

      It is not just a matter of hearing a gun,and you call it heavy fighting. For those who don’t know of what a heavy fighting is, it is a fight that take hours or days without stopping because each side want to control the area. Nuer cannot and will not control the area in BG region even if they collaborate with Khartoum, which is what Riak want to get married to Omar Bashir again.

      repondre message

  • 25 April 20:05, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    These forces of renegade, Riek Machar rebel should be scare early before . Wau is a target. But they will not achieve the plans, SPLA has flaws where will be crash simply.

    repondre message

  • 26 April 06:57, by Snipper

    The incident happened in my present yesterday and in this morning we asked "Gelweng" both from Chuei Bet and Tonj to seal off the route and I am sure whoever will be found in the bush, we will only collect the gun and bodies will be left for hyenas! These are people who do not reason.

    repondre message

    • 26 April 08:46, by Gogrialboys

      You are absolutely right Sniper, Gelweng need those guns in order to defend their cattle from Nyagateen. It will be mistake if confirm, for Nuer to rebel within the region of BG. We have not touch a single Nuer in Bahrelghazel since the war broke out in Juba, but they are mobilizing their youth and at the same time defecting to join that foolish man who has been prostituting himself to Khartoum.

      repondre message

  • 26 April 08:21, by Gogrialboys

    Folks, I don’t know why Nuer people all over the world, are celebrating the killing going on in our country, while they know very well that they are going to win the war. Now see in their region, no school for their children, no hospital to take patient to, and people are not cultivating, and yet they are chanting to rape Dinka women and kill them as it was evidence in Bentiu.

    repondre message

  • 26 April 22:06, by Kenyang

    There is time for everything. Now is time for war which is being imposed on rest of South Sudanese. There are naive who think Riek power-hunger can be wished away or that group of angels from heaven will bring them peace but unless these individuals are ready to be slaughtered at their own door steps, massive armed mobilization is the alternative.

    repondre message

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