January 21, 2016 (YAMBIO) – At least five people are feared dead after fresh fighting erupted in Yambio, the capital of South Sudan’s former state of Western Equatoria Thursday, officials said.
- Soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) jump from a vehicle while on patrol in the capital, Juba (Photo: Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
Sustained gun fire was heard at Birisi in Gangura payam, some 20 kilometre north of Yambio, the headquarters of the newly created state of Gbudue.
The fighting reportedly started when a military battalion on reconnaissance fell into an ambush, with unconfirmed reports indicating several senior officials were killed.
Yambio police commissioner, Brigadier Albino Marriano confirmed the ongoing fighting in the town, but declined to discuss further details.
“Armed criminal group rushed in the direction of prison correction [centre] and they started attacking the prison and other places in the town,” Marriano said by phone.
He blamed the attack on the arrow boys, a local armed vigilante group in the region.
“They are not in the town now, they have been repulsed. It is not clear how many people are killed,” the police commissioner futher told Sudan Tribune by phone from Yambio.
In recent weeks, however, Yambio town has been at the centre of intense fighting between the South Sudanese national army (SPLA) and the area local militia groups.