November 9, 2016 (JUBA) –The South Sudanese rebels Wednesday said they killed more than 21 government soldiers who attempted to recapture their position in northern Upper Nile region.
- Rebel fighters walk in front of a bushfire in a rebel-controlled territory in Upper Nile State, South Sudan February 13, 2014. (Photo Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
“We were attacked this morning by enemy forces around 7:30 am at Zaket, just 15 kilometres away from Wadekona town, but we repulsed back the attackers to the town,” SPLM-IO Spokesperson Paul Malieth told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.
The rebel official said they have captured three soldiers alive and destroyed two armoured vehicles as they battle around Zaket.
He said they also captured in good condition 18 AK47, 6 PKM and two Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG 7) as well as ammunitions when they were pushing SPLA forces toward Wadekona.
In a separate phone interview rebel commander Brigadier Gen. James Gatluok Nhial confirmed to Sudan Tribune the clashes between SPLA-IO and government forces in the area.
He said five rebel fighters were wounded in the attacks, adding that no fatalities were reported on their side.
Nhial further pointed an accusing finger to the soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir saying they started the fighting in the northern part of Upper Nile State.
He said their forces repulsed the attackers and advance toward Wadekona at the western bank of the Nile, and one of the most disputed areas between the two warring groups during the last two year of the conflict.
Recently, a report of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) which is tasked with the monitoring of the situation in South Sudan has mentioned that government troops violated the ceasefire and attacked SPLA-IO controlled areas.
The JMEC in its report of October said the SPLA soldiers attacked the rebel forces in Leer and Gezera of Rubkotna County.