Home | News    Wednesday 16 July 2014

Fresh fighting in South Sudan’s Unity state sparks panic

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July 15, 2014 (KAMPALA) – Heavy fighting between rebels and government forces on Tuesday sparked widespread panic among civilians in South Sudan’s Unity state.

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Soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) disembark from a pick-up truck in Unity state capital Bentiu on 12 January 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Andreea Campeanu)

The rebels have accused the government with launching attacks on their positions in Kuergueyni, Guit, Nhialdiu and Wichok.

The latest claims come amid renewed fighting in the state which erupted over the weekend.

Rebel spokesman Peter Riak Gew told Sudan Tribune by satellite phone interview that rebels had repulsed three separate attacks launched by government forces on Tuesday and were pursuing them towards the capital, Bentiu.

Gew claimed rebels had killed 100 soldiers in Nhialdiu and 26 in Kuergueyni, saying some had been captured alive, while others had managed to flee into the bush.

Gew maintained the rebel group’s leadership remained committed to a cessation of hostilities agreement signed in the in Ethiopian capital, Addis-Ababa, in January, accusing the government of failing to abide by the terms of the deal.

“It is very clear that the government does not respect the peace initiative, but [is] only optioned for war,” he said.

“We are committed for peace, but our enemies are yet not for peace,” he added.

Gew told Sudan Tribune said the rebel leadership had ordered troops under its command to fight back if government troops continue to attack their positions.

However, he stressed the rebel faction’s decision to retaliate against government attacks should not be viewed as provocative.

Meanwhile, residents sheltering at a UN camp in Bentiu town expressed fears the state had returned to full-scale war.

Some residents told Sudan Tribune the Tuesday’s attack was influenced by state governor Joseph Nguen Monytuel, who is reported to have ordered the national army (SPLA) to clear out rebel fighters from the state’s counties to pave the way for commissioners to resume working.

Rebels accused the government of shelling and launching simultaneous ground attacks on their positions in Unity state’s Mayom county over the weekend.

The claims followed accusations by the SPLA that rebels had attacked government troops on multiple fronts last week in Unity and Upper Nile states.

Oil-rich Unity state was the scene of heavy fighting after conflict erupted in mid-December last year following a political split in the ruling SPLM, changing hands several times at the height of the conflict.

(ST)

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  • 16 July 07:57, by Malakal county Simon

    It’s good to let’s the world know that government of Salva Kiir, is not interested to make peace with Rebels.....

    repondre message

      • 16 July 09:48, by Peacocktail

        The rebels leader Dr. Machar must face Sanction and Asset frozen to abide by Ceasefire agreement. US and EU must includes James Koang Chuol-Military Commander in Unity state with toughest measures including chapter Vii( UN resolution)to dismantle them like M23 of DRC. SPLA-defectors are criminals and must be held by their toes. pple dying of starvation in Leer and guit while Dr.Riek doesn’t care

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        • 16 July 11:17, by Mi diit

          See, the poor hungry ragtag soldiers of salva kiir as seen in the picture were told to attack rebels to test their new weapons from China. Yet they were killed and chased like rats.

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          • 16 July 17:48, by Force 1

            Midiit
            The rag tag Guerilla are the ones living in the bushes desperate to come to town to have their hands on what to eat and wear; but how would you know if you people don’t have the brains!

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    • 16 July 09:49, by Augustino

      Great ly to say you have killed 100 soldiers from SPLA soldiers, what about your casualties? wait Kuol and Malong had acquired enough weapons from China to deal with you in short time from now, wait we have recruited enough forces to deal with you now. There will be no other place to carrying on fighting apart from Nuer areas. if you saw your people yesterday over SBS and ABC news, it is good seei

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  • 16 July 12:51, by wang

    Augustino
    M7 gave Dr. Machar 4days to surrender himself or captured alive….those 4days had cost M7 over 9,000 lives at Jonglei state in particularly ….Malong gave Dr. Machar 30days and those 30days cost the govt side so many lives that had led them to deserted their many frontline positions… Nuer will be the last standing from this war….

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    • 16 July 14:28, by Gangura

      Dear Dr, machar those SPLA whom captured alive just keep them after you end them to IGAD to show them all the vailetion of hostilities been made by Kirr and his people, otherwise I could advice you to teach them leason but if they are Ugandans among the persioner war you have, make sure they are handas and some parts of the body are removed and they eat it themselves. do as Gen. Kony did to them

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  • 16 July 21:22, by Kerem

    Mi diit or whatever you call yourself. you are always a typical liar. where are you feeding your militias since the entire upper Nile and Unity state have run out of food and that is why your hungry rebels have gone to Lakes State and Warrap

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