September 2, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese rival forces clashed on Juba-Torit road on Friday when government forces fell into ambush as they were attempting to search for opposition forces around Torit, capital of Eastern Equatoria state, according to opposition officials.
- South Sudanese SPLA soldiers are pictured in Pageri in Eastern Equatoria state on August 20, 2015 (Photo AFP/Samir Bol)
“We have received reports of fighting in Eastern and Central Equatoria states. Clashes occurred today, Friday, between Torit and Liria. Salva Kiir’s forces came to attack our troops in the state. I learnt that they fell into ambush. A number of their vehicles were destroyed, and they also suffered human losses. Their remnants were repulsed,” James Gatdet Dak, official spokesperson for the opposition leader, Riek Machar, told to Sudan Tribune on Friday.
He also said there was fighting since Thursday in Katigiri, northwest of Juba and in Wonduruba area, south of Juba in Central Equatoria state.
Government forces have been struggling to reopen the Juba-Yei road which opposition forces have blocked since July when fighting erupted in Juba.
Dak accused the forces loyal to President Kiir of allegedly escalating fighting in Greater Equatoria region.
The Juba-Torit road, he added, was being closed by the opposition forces following the Friday fighting.
The SPLA spokesperson was not reachable for comment.
The clashes came after another Thursday incident on Juba-Nimule road during which a number of security officers of the government were killed when they fell into ambush.
Government forces have been deployed to the area with more clashes expected should the rival forces meet.