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SPLA-IO two top commanders killed by government forces in Mundri air raids

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November 27, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – Two top military commanders of the South Sudanese opposition forces (SPLA-IO) have been confirmed killed on Wednesday in Mundri county of Western Equatoria state when government forces launched attacks using two helicopter gunships on a designated cantonment area of the opposition forces under the leadership of the first vice-president designate, Riek Machar.

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South Sudanese SPLA soldiers are pictured in Pageri in Eastern Equatoria state on August 20, 2015 (Photo AFP/Samir Bol)

Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, confirmed to Sudan Tribune on Friday that two of their top commanders in Western Equatoria state lost their lives along with many other soldiers when their cantonment area came under surprise attack by gunships launched from Juba, the national capital.

“Yes, it is true. Brigadier General Tito Biel Chuor and Brigadier General Charles got killed in the Mundri cantonment area when president Kiir’s regime attacked the assembly point on Wednesday using two helicopter gunships,” Dak told Sudan Tribune.

“It is unfortunate that while our forces have been assembling in the cantonment areas in implementation of the security arrangements in the peace agreement, the regime is finding it an opportunity to target them in the assembly areas,” he said.

Dak further said the commander-in-chief of the SPLA-IO had already written to all units announcing the death of the two commanders.

He described the deceased commanders as courageous officers, adding that Chuor had been long time freedom fighter for decades.

This week the opposition faction accused the government of attacking their cantonment area in Mundri, saying this was another violation among a series of violations to the ceasefire by the government under the leadership of president Kiir.

The two generals, the first senior opposition commanders to have gotten killed by government forces since the war began in December 2013, reportedly died when their vehicle they were travelling in was targeted by two helicopter gunships which blew it up.

General Chuor had been seeking shelter in the protection site of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Juba since December 2013, but decided to sneak out to the bush two months ago with estimated 700 fighters and trekked all the way to Mundri to join the cantonment area after the peace agreement was signed.

Government sources earlier told Sudan Tribune that the gunships were sent to the area after receiving reports that the leader of the opposition, Machar, was airlifted into Mundri to inspect the forces there and that he was the target.

JUBA ATTACKS SPLA-IO IN KAKA

In a separate development, Dak said government forces have for the last two days been attacking their assembly areas in northern part of the oil rich Upper Nile state.

“The regime has again launched its helicopter gunships targeting our forces in cantonment areas. Helicopter gunships air raided our assembly point in Kaka at 3:30pm on Friday. The gunships this morning resumed the attacks at another cantonment area, north of Kaka” he said.

He accused the government of further violating the peace agreement, warning that such clear violations could result to the peace deal unravelling unless Juba stopped the aggression.

The renewed violence came after both the government and the opposition faction signed a security arrangements understanding in Addis Ababa in which the two parties were required to assemble their forces in designated cantonment areas in the country.

The opposition leader’s spokesman however said targeting the areas of cantonment indicated the government was not committed to the implementation of the security arrangements and the peace agreement as a whole.

He said the international community should lay responsibility on the government should the peace agreement unravel.

(ST)

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  • 28 November 2015 10:48, by Kenyang

    Gallant fighters got terrorists naked. Where are cantonments again? Liar Gadet Dak.

    repondre message

    • 28 November 2015 14:32, by dad1

      their ranks are just like that of of watchment. they were killed by local people in casava garden when uprooting or stealing it. may their souls reach ngundeng.

      repondre message

  • 28 November 2015 15:59, by Hardlinner

    if those attacking civilians along the highway happened to be part of riek rebels, then government hv right to attack them. they r criminals not political opponents. the civilians they attacking r the very people they claim to liberate. therefore they should respect their lives n properties. government need more attack helicopters n precision jet fighters. that’s the only way of stopping rebellion

    repondre message

  • 28 November 2015 17:42, by Below the Law

    THAT "General Chuor had been seeking shelter in the protection site of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Juba since December 2013, but decided to sneak out to the bush two months ago with estimated 700 fighters and trekked all the way to Mundri to join the cantonment area after the peace agreement was signed". ’DECIDED TO SNEAK OUT’ AFTER THE PEACE WAS SIGNED’ ahah you be funn

    repondre message

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