October 19, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese rival army factions have lost at least two generals from their respective sides following the recent clashes around Malakal, the capital of the oil rich Upper Nile state, officials have confirmed.
- SPLA soldiers sit at the back of a pick-up truck in Malakal, Upper Nile state January 12, 2014. (Photo Reuters/Andreea Campeanu)
“Yes, we have lost one of our generals, actually he was supervising the operations in defence of our territories around Malakal when our forces came under attack from the Juba regime’s forces over the weekend,” James Gatdet Dak, spokesperson for the opposition leader, Riek Machar, confirmed to Sudan Tribune.
He said the general, named Mujahid Abiel, was initially wounded and succumbed to the wound hours later.
Dak said the general was killed when he was trying to inspect the area of Lelo, which they captured from the government’s forces after chasing back to Lelo government forces that attacked them in their positions around Lelo. He added a wounded government’s soldier who was left in Lelo shot at the general unaware as he was walking inspecting the area with his forces.
Lelo, which is only about 2km west of Malakal town, is inhabited by the ethnic Shilluk.
The opposition leader’s spokesperson also said a government’s army general was also killed in separate clashes in Jalhak, a strategic town, northeast of Renk town, close to the Sudanese border.
The government admitted having lost one of their senior generals around Renk, but could not disclose his name.
Dak said their positions in different parts of the country have come under attacks by government’s forces.
He said that fighting has been going on in locations in Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria, in addition to the clashes in Upper Nile region and in Western Bhar el Ghazal.
He further said fighting has erupted in Mundri county in Western Equatoria, in Lainya county of Central Equatoria and in Magwi county in Eastern Equatoria.
“The ongoing fighting in many areas across the country is a result of the ongoing offensive against our positions by the regime’s forces ,” he added.
He stressed that their forces have resisted the attacks and controlled many areas in the recent clashes in Equatoria and Upper Nile regions.
Also, he dismissed as "propaganda" the recent statements by the government officials that they killed 56 of the opposition’s forces.
There are fears that the East African nation is on the brink of another catastrophic outbreak of violence between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Machar, more than a year after a peace deal that has been violated repeatedly by fighting.
The civil war reignited on 8 July when rival forces clashed at the Presidential palace in Juba and forced the former deputy to Kiir to flee the capital with his small number of troops.