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South Sudanese rebels claim government plans all-out war

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August 2, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese rebels led by former vice-president Riek Machar have accused the government of planning a major all-out offensive against their positions in the three states of the former Greater Upper Nile region.

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Rebel fighters aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar march in a village inside rebel-controlled territory in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state on 9 February 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

In a press release on Saturday, rebel military spokesperson Brig Lul Ruai Kaong said the government has made a plan to attack rebels positions in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states amid the resumption of peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

He said the communications between senior government commanders which the rebels intercepted and confirmed by sources from the government headquarters in Bilpam has divided the country into “war zones” each under overall command of senior generals.

“The Government of the Republic of South Sudan is preparing for a total war against the rebels led by former vice-president Dr Riek Machar. Sources and intercepted radio messages from the Army’s GHQs-Bilpam barracks have revealed that the country has been divided into war zones each under overall command of a senior general as indicated below,” partly reads the statement by Koang.

The rebels spokesperson revealed the alleged plan in details in which senior army generals including the army’s chief of general staff, General Paul Malong Awan, will personally command the operations.

UPPER NILE STATE

For the oil-rich Upper Nile state, Koang claimed that massive offensive operations against the rebels in this state will be under overall command of Awan deputised by deputy chief of general staff for operations, Lt. Gen. James Ajonga and Sector Two commander Lt. Gen. Johson GonyBeliu.

Each general commanding a separate force would advance on rebel positions on three axis, he further explained.

Government forces amassed at Paloich oilfields under the command of chief of general staff will advance on the opposition positions in Mathiang, Longchuk, Maiwut and Pagak in Longchuk and Maiwut counties north east of Upper Nile State.

Another column, he further claimed, will advance on rebel positions in Baliet and Ulang counties and reinforce “loyalist forces” in Nasir town.

Koang further detailed that government forces amassed in Renk county, north of Malakal town, under the command of deputy chief of general staff for operations will advance on opposition positions at Manyo county on the western banks of White Nile River in Collo (Shulluk Kingdom). This force is tasked with responsibility of recapturing all areas held by the rebels on western bank up to Tonga.

Government forces amassed in Malakal town under the command of Sector Two Commander, according to the statement, will advance on rebels positions at Dolieb Hills in Panyikang county to recapture Fangak and Pigi counties in Jonglei state.

JONGLEI STATE

In a similar plan of offensive in Jonglei state, he said, government troops amassed at Bor town under the command of deputy chief of general staff for administration, Lt. Gen. Malual Ayom supported by Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) will move on rebel positions on two axis.

A combined force, he further alleged, comprising of units from SPLA and UPDF will advance on SPLA’s positions in Twic East and Duk counties with the ultimate goal of recapturing rebel strongholds of greater Lou-Nuer counties of Uror, Nyirol and Akobo in the east of state capital, Bor.

Another combined force will reinforce besieged government troops in Ayod and recapture surrounding villages, saying 40 PToyota land cruisers carrying military supplies had already left Juba for Bor.

UNITY STATE

In oil-producing Unity state the rebel spokesperson said government troops had amassed at Abiem-Nom county, west of the state capital, Bentiu, under the overall command of Sector One commander, Lt. Gen. Jok Riak and will advance on rebel positions on two axis.

Loyalist forces supported by local SSLA militias under the command of Maj. Gen. Mathew Pul Jang will advance on rebel positions in Mayom, Koc and Mayendit counties south of Bentiu town.

A separate force will move on opposition positions in Rupkoni, Guit and Leer counties east of Bentiu town. All the two forces will converge on Panyijar county in southern-most tip of the state.

The rebels spokesperson said the leaked plan also revealed that all ground operations by the government forces in the three states will get air support from UPDF Air Force.

“The military leadership of SPLA in Opposition has decided to publish this detailed operational plans in advance in order to inform the people of South Sudan, IGAD mediation team, IGAD countries, region[al] and the international community about this looming massive offensive operations against our positions in Greater Upper Nile Region,” the statement said.

“These imminent large scale operations are aimed at accomplishing government’s mission of recapturing all territories it had lost using military means rather than pursuing peaceful options in Addis Ababa,” said the rebel military spokesperson, adding that the SPLM in Opposition reiterated its commitment to all agreements signed but reserved the right of fighting back in self-defence once attacked.

In a press conference last month, Awan admitted for the first time that the government was responsible for attacking rebels’ positions in order to recapture more territories prior to 9 May agreement in Addis Ababa between the two rival leaders.

Rebel officials say if the latest revelation is true, the government might want to regain control of territories under the rebels control before any agreement on transitional government is reached in Addis Ababa.

IGAD-mediated peace talks are scheduled to resume on Monday and discuss the future governance and an interim leadership. Opposition and civil society groups are also expected to take part.

(ST)

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  • 3 August 08:45, by Force 1

    What kind of communication can you primitives intercept from SPLA operation? It’s probably your nuer within the government or SPLA who tips you off about the plan or the ongoing operation!

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    • 3 August 10:53, by Rommel

      Lul Ruai Kaong is a hypocritical fool. He acts as though his forces didn’t recently attack Nasir in contravention of the ceasefire. He seems to want to forget that his rebel group has evinced its preference for war instead of peace. When the rebels attacked Nasir, they said that they would then plan on attacking Malakal, Maban county and the Paloich oilfields.

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      • 3 August 10:58, by Rommel

        The ’ceasefire’ is a myth. It’s never really existed and neither side has ever adhered to it. The original ’ceasefire’ was signed in January, but the rebels attacked government positions in Malakal in February. Gathoth Gatkouth has never recognized the existence of a ’ceasefire’. Source: http://sudantribune.com/spip.php?article49851

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        • 3 August 11:00, by Rommel

          Even after Riek signed the ’ceasefire’, he didn’t order his forces to stand down and respect the ’ceasefire’. He made threats to attack government positions despite the fact that the ’ceasefire’ was ostensibly in place. ’Truth is the first casualty of war’. https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/report-machar-never-ordered-commanders-stand-down-after-ceasefire

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          • 3 August 11:01, by Rommel

            Gen. Paul Malong Awan Anei did not admit that the government broke the non-existent ’ceasefire’. That’s not what he said. He explained that prior to the May 9 accord [the second ’ceasefire’], the army launched attacks on rebel positions so as to gain as much territory as possible, before the ceasefire could come into effect. There was no ’ceasefire’ prior to those operations.

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            • 3 August 11:07, by Rommel

              ..The rebels did not acknowledge the existence of a ’ceasefire’ and they certainly didn’t give stand down directives to their forces. Gathoth Gatkuoth has affirmed [over and over again] that he simply doesn’t recognize the existence of a ’ceasefire. The ’ceasefire’ is a cruel hoax. There is no ’ceasefire’.

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  • 3 August 08:58, by Chol A.

    Coward Lul do not rush to media yet and spreading liars. You are one planing to attacking government position in all these places now you claimed to be SPLA are one on plan. Please tell your primitive general who are mobilising women and young kids to accept peace to end this violent among us otherwise such operation will not be far and you will face worse then ever if this peace fail again

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  • 3 August 09:01, by Dengic

    stop lying and go for peace talk.SPLA will only attack you should you boycott this round of talks again.

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  • 3 August 09:20, by Snipper

    Nuers threw their villages into turmoil with hope of crashing Dinka but it has becomes a tall order for them. People who ignore real danger sometimes keep diving into shit only to realize after they have lost their belongings! Lul should sip it and enjoy his Nuer madness! Days of appeasement are over!

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    • 3 August 10:12, by Peacocktail

      Lul should stop campaigning for war all over South Sudan, No day ONE tribe –Nuer wanted to change the Government elected by Million of citizens. The crisis hit Nuer civilians merely on propaganda of discrimination. Government had upper hands in crashing rebellion if they do not adhere to peace using all possible means of eliminating outlaws militias. Nuer who have joined the rebels to leave homes

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  • 3 August 10:10, by Mel mosa

    The plan has been already on table but because of ceasefire, we are stay until negotiation success. But if the rebels choose war instead of peace, they will find themselves in Ethiopia soon. This time, we have skill SPLA generals with well trained army. SPLA eyeeeeeeeeee

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  • 3 August 11:32, by wang

    this is a one way ticket ladies and gentlemen we are debating here and none of the govt soliders shall make it back to their original positions if they are going to be too crazies and may try to attacks the Freedom Fighter positions at this time of the year…let mad dog Malong Awan and his poor generals bring it on…

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  • 3 August 11:55, by Dinka-Defender-General

    Well, don’t cry to the world, IGD, and the South Sudan citizens. Just dig the trenches and be ready to defense it since General Malong Awan is not playing with you guys. Second option is to surrender. Third option is to run to Ethiopia to hide. If this is true, please let the citizens leave the areas because SPLA’s soldiers are coming. This is how you fight the war. SPLA oyee......

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  • 3 August 16:24, by sweettea

    SPLA should know tht any attempt to attack the resistance army will lead into disastrous teward innocents poor SPLA. its been 8 months now and you can’t even defeat the resistance army with all the help you get from UDPF, SPLA NORTH and JEM,
    Big shame to so call dinka government

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    • 3 August 17:32, by Rommel

      sweettea:

      Do you seriously want to display pride for merely eight [8] months of fighting? Were the Ugandans present when we routed you from our lands in 1991-2? Riek’s forces experienced defeat after being pursued, hounded and cut down as far as Uror, Akobo, Nyirol, Yuai and Ayod. Were JEM fighters present!? Remember, you had the Equatorian defence force with you as well...

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      • 3 August 17:34, by Rommel

        .. You had Khartoum as your ally. The Baggara tribes in the form of the PDF and Murahaleen, devastated the Dinka tribe. The Equatorians joined your myopic surrender to Khartoum. The Murle [like you] worked for Khartoum. The vast majority of the Shilluk joined your rebellion. The Muslim ’Fertit’ tribes in Western Bahr el Ghazal worked in tandem with Khartoum against us... and you still lost.

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        • 3 August 17:40, by Rommel

          Take pride in your poultry eight months. Come back to me when you can do it for fourteen [14] years. Salva Kiir is your greatest ally. You really should be thanking him. He allowed you [Khartoum’s oilfield guard-dogs] to return in the tens of thousands, when you were nothing but Khartoum’s witless lackeys.

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  • 3 August 17:08, by Kim Deng

    The sell-out Nuer by the name "Buay Malek" was the one who created this cheap propaganda in the name of Lul Koang.
    Shame on him (Buay)!!!!!!!!!!!!

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