August 11, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese rival forces on Monday traded fresh accusations over clashes in Nasir, a strategic Upper Nile state town currently controlled by government forces.
- Soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) at Jonglei state’s Bor airport after they recaptured the town from rebels (AFP)
The acting spokesperson of South Sudanese army, Lt. Col. Joseph Marier claimed the rebels lost at least 32 fighters in Nasir on Sunday.
“The rebels of Riek Machar carried out the attack on the position of our forces this morning in Nasir, but they were repulsed by our gallant forces,” Lt. Col. Marrirer said in a statement issued Monday.
“This belligerent act is a clear violation of the ceasefire”, he added, without providing more details on the incident.
Upon his arrival from the United States-African leaders’ summit on Sunday, president Salva Kiir told a reception rally at Juba airport that rebels twice attacked government forces in Nasir.
REBELS REFUTE CLAIMS
A spokesperson for the rebel group, however, described as “unjustified” the government’s version of events on the Nasir attack.
“[The] SPLA [in-Opposition] takes this opportunity to dismiss [president] Kiir and Michael’s [Makuei] statements as baseless and a reversed version of the reality on the ground. The correct version of events is that government forces attempted to advance on our positions at Ketbek, 2km southeast of Nasir town in order to achieve two military objectives; make more territorial gains and steal food from civilians,” Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang said on Monday.
He gave no details on casualties involved, but claimed government troops were driven back to Nasir, allegedly thwarting their plans to make more territorial gains before a peace agreement is reached.