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S. Sudan army uncovers rebel plan for major military offensive

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August 22, 2014 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese army (SPLA) says it has discovered a master plan drawn up by rebel forces outlining arrangements for mass mobilisation with the aim of launching a major offensive despite the signing of a ceasefire agreement.

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Rebel fighters hold their weapons as they march through a village in rebel-controlled territory in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state on 9 February 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

The SPLA’s chief of general staff, General Paul Malong Awan, this week briefed president Salva Kiir on the security threat, claiming the plan is part of a political strategy by rebels aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar to pressurise the government to make concessions in current peace negotiations being mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in neighbouring Ethiopia.

Awan reportedly told Kiir that Machar and his group had drawn up plans for a complete military operation as early as June after the president drew a red line, saying he would neither accept to step down from his position as head of state nor entertain any proposal seeking dissolution of elected institutions, including legislative assemblies at any level.

During his briefing to the president, Awan said rebel forces were continuing to carry out “belligerent acts” and human rights violations despite a ceasefire deal brokered by IGAD in January and mounting international pressure to resolve the crisis.

“The recent attacks in Bentiu, Ayod, Renk, Nasir and other places, where our forces continue to show restraint in respect of the orders you gave them as the commander-in-chief, is the beginning of the major offensive,” Awan explained during his briefing to Kiir.

“Actually they started implementing their master plan early as June, but we foiled it. Now they are determined to roll it out during [the] rainy season because they know some of our tanks cannot move,” he added.

Awan told the president that the rebels have divided the country into areas of operation and have already assigned areas of responsibility.

He claimed Peter Gatdet had been assigned as overall commander for Unity state and parts of Warrap, while General Dau Aturjong, who has so far managed to mobilise former deserters from SPLA forces in Upper Nile, will take command of forces in North and Western Bahr El Gazal.

The strategy is allegedly intended to deny government forces of an opportunity of obtaining reinforcements from the Greater Bahr el Ghazal region in the event that there are similar military engagements.

Gatdet has so far managed to mobilise thousands of regular forces, backed by thousands of local youth from his Bul clan, one of the largest sections in Unity state.

Meanwhile, Aturjong has mobilised also thousands of fighters, some of whom reportedly belong to a South Sudanese youth group who joined him from Sudan.

Its members are believed to be among Greater Bahr el Ghazal communities who were unable to return to their ancestral homes after the South gained independence in 2011 due to a lack of transport options or who had returned to Sudan in search of employment opportunities.

Other operations will also be launched from Luo Nuer areas around Ayod with the aim of taking Jonglei capital Bor and continuing on to Juba.

It’s understood these operations will be spearheaded by Maj. Gen. Gatwech Dual, who will be backed by elements of the White Army mobilised from Lou Nuer and Gawar Nuer, while Maj. Gen. Gatwech Chan, also known as Gabriel Tanginye, will lead forces in Malakal and Renk and Maj. Gen. Gat-Hoth Gatkuoth will be tasked with seizing Nasir and the Paloch oil field.

Government forces and pro-Machar rebels have been engaged in an armed struggle since mid-December last year after a political dispute in South Sudan’s ruling party (SPLM) turned violent.

The fighting has killed thousands and displaced more than a million people, leading to fears of a worsening humanitarian catastrophe.

IGAD-led peace talks have continued to stall amid ongoing disagreements between the country’s warring parties.

(ST)

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  • 23 August 2014 08:43, by Malakal county Simon

    Big liars and should be treated as a reverse-version of the reality on the ground!! Government of Kiir is the one who planing all out-war with the rebels to test their newly bought weapons.

    repondre message

  • 23 August 2014 08:44, by Madina Tonj

    There is a very simple answer for that master plan. The GOSS must follow the recommendation giving by uncover in the rebel. GOSS have the power to borrowing air power to crush, destroying, kills and defeated all rebels. Also I think the GOSS must calls on 100,000 men of the men Muoyjang youths in Bhar el Ghazal States and increases their salaries and full equipment need and SPLA will win war.

    repondre message

  • 23 August 2014 08:45, by Madina Tonj

    There is a very simple answer for that master plan. The GOSS must follow the recommendation giving by uncover in the rebel. GOSS have the power to borrowing air power to crush, destroying, kills and defeated all rebels. Also I think the GOSS must calls on 100,000 men of the men Muoyjang youths in Bhar el Ghazal States and increases their salaries and full equipment need and SPLA will win war.

    repondre message

  • 23 August 2014 08:45, by Madina Tonj

    There is a very simple answer for that master plan. The GOSS must follow the recommendation giving by uncover in the rebel. GOSS have the power to borrowing air power to crush, destroying, kills and defeated all rebels. Also I think the GOSS must calls on 100,000 men of the men Muoyjang youths in Bhar el Ghazal States and increases their salaries and full equipment need and SPLA will win war.

    repondre message

  • 23 August 2014 08:46, by Madina Tonj

    There is a very simple answer for that master plan. The GOSS must follow the recommendation giving by uncover in the rebel. GOSS have the power to borrowing air power to crush, destroying, kills and defeated all rebels. Also I think the GOSS must calls on 100,000 men of the men Muoyjang youths in Bhar el Ghazal States and increases their salaries and full equipment need and SPLA will win war.

    repondre message

    • 23 August 2014 08:56, by Gat Gan Kiir

      Nothing new in this programme, the commanders you claimed are on duty since the beginning of this war. We are not sitting ugly by, we will come to Juba before Christmas. Understand?

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      • 23 August 2014 12:36, by Mayom County Boy

        Hey you Gat gat kir , you always demanding to capture Juba
        since fighting erupted in Juba why did n,t you capture juba on 15/12/2013 ? when fighting took place , some of nuer men run like women to UNMISS. even your fake god Riek Machar & Taban Deng are out side of south sudan now . do n.t talk like mad please take arm and join Riek Machar forces

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  • 23 August 2014 08:52, by Mel mosa

    This is a pure lies from sudantribune for trying to immediate SPLA and South Sudanese people. Yes the plan for attacking is there but rest of message is just propaganda. Let them come for the end of their world.

    repondre message

  • 23 August 2014 10:12, by Thondet Manyang

    Cont..
    This Kiir You refuse will be the better one and you will regret. Keep pushing, changes are coming you will see either Malong and Kuol Manyang Running this state fulfilling all the Dinka needs and objectives. Are you guys ready to bring peace to South Sudan?? Shit!! Things are not the same today. What Changes have Riek brought to South Sudan when he was vice President? Stupid Nuers!Fooled.

    repondre message

  • 23 August 2014 11:40, by philipdit wol

    Thanks Pual Malong for security alert we are tried of innocents death because of Riek Machar is political outdated.

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  • 23 August 2014 12:59, by Ayuen deng

    SPLA must protect the constitution of South Sudan that negotiation will not fruit anything Salva Kiir is an elected president any change must be through election or referendum.

    repondre message

  • 23 August 2014 13:41, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    If the map of insecurity drew by rebels become affirmative, then i thinks it will be marking day of their rebellion.
    The government is very wild where as it can protect any territory which rebel are map for military operations.

    repondre message

  • 23 August 2014 22:11, by Daniel Deng Monyde

    No hope for those losers fighting a senseless war. Riak was head of the government for 8 years when Salva was 1st Vice in Sudan and Riak did nothing all that time and now he is saying the government failed. Why didn’t he resign until he was sacked...useless traitor ever since, only greedy for power and nothing else...ready to walk over dead bodies of innocent people to the President’s seat...never

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