Home | News    Wednesday 25 January 2017

South Sudan army denies clashed with rebels in Equatoria region

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January 25, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan army (SPLA) has denied it clashed with armed opposition forces under the leadership and overall command of the former vice president, Riek Machar. However the UNMISS confirmed the violence.

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

Acting SPLA spokesman told Sudan Tribune he has no reports indicating government soldiers clashed with rebels but received reports of criminals and high way robbers stormed a village in Magwi county in Eastern Equatori with intention to loot from the civilians before running away when government soldiers arrive to the area.

“I have not received such reports. This is just another strategy by making propaganda to show that they are in the area. What I have learned is that there were criminals who entered one of the villages in Magwi County on January 22, 2017. Their intention was to loot from local population but they fled when our forces were alerted and went to the area,” said Colonel Santo Dominic when reached on Tuesday to comment on the matter.

The government military spokesman was reacting to a statement in which the spokesman of armed opposition claimed the positions of their forces came under attack in several places in Eastern Equatoria but they repulsed the government forces during a clash in which six pro government militiamen were killed.

The SPLM-Io spokesperson William Gatjiath Deng said government forces on Sunday morning they drove back a government force that moved from Magwi and attacked and burned down Acholi villages, including Licari, on Magwi-Pajok road.

“While still on their way to pillage to the villages and commit additional atrocities in the Magwi area, the SPLA-IO Anyanya division forces under the command of Major General Patrick Ohiti Chapuho ambushed them, killing six (soldiers),” he said.

He also claimed their forces in division 3 under Maj.General Tut Riik have regained control of Nordeng area under Nasir state in Upper Nile region, which government forces had allegedly taken from them last week.

“On the same Sunday January 22, 2017, more than 18 regime soldiers who attempted to attack the gallant SPLA-IO positions in and around Yei were ambushed. After the ambush, the gallant SPLA-IO forces under sector 8, division 2B pursued the ruthless regime soldiers toward Yei town”, he adds.

UN CONFIRMS CLASHES
However, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told reporters in New York on Wednesday that the UN Mission in South Sudan(UNMISS) received reports about clashes in Central and Eastern Equatoria provinces.

"UNMISS has received reports of fighting between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and opposition in Central Equatoria on Sunday. It is also following up on reports of civilians killed and displaced towards the border areas, he said”.

He added that the Mission has also received reports of clashes in Obbo Payam in Magwi County in Eastern Equatoria over the weekend and is seeking to verify reports of civilian casualties.

(ST)

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  • 25 January 2017 19:35, by Eastern

    Garang’s SPLA were considered highway robbers in the early 80s and 90s, but the Tingilo and Zal Zal batallion said were later revered as "liberators". Case closed!

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    • 26 January 2017 00:44, by Paul Ongee

      Last time I said that if two people fight in a bar or robbers robbed a passenger vehicle on Juba -Nimule, Juba-Pajok, Juba-Kajokeji and Juba-Yei roads, the IO Spokesperson immediately claims that their position is being attacked by government forces. These are all local robbers organized under the leadership of IO-Riek-Highway/Roads-Income Generating Project to get some cash.

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      • 26 January 2017 00:57, by Paul Ongee

        The government needs to step up effort to keep Highway and major states roads open and safe particularly in Equatoria region because the sympathizers of IO-Riek is taking the advantage of peaceful national Dialogue and the international concern that has been consistently sung in the media that the government is preparing for dry season offensive against the IO-Riek supporters.

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        • 26 January 2017 01:03, by Paul Ongee

          The good thing is that IO-Riek doesn’t have any tangible force to reckon with the gallant SPLA government forces in any areas in Equatotia or Bahr El-Ghazal regions but robbers. IO-Riek is essentially struggling to preach to regional and international actors that they are presence in the two regions and ready to fight government forces whenever their highway robbers are attacked or disarmed.

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          • 26 January 2017 01:09, by Paul Ongee

            The trick used by the US previous administration under Barrack Obama was to scare and distract the government under such propaganda that the government is preparing to launch massive offensive against the IO-Riek forces, while the intention was to silence the government and give IO-Riek remnants to prepare and launch offensive against the government in the coming rainy season.

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            • 26 January 2017 01:18, by Paul Ongee

              The National Dialogue must be backed up with Rapid Response Forces (RRFs) of Government to counter any emergency insecurity situation created by IO-Riek in any part of South Sudan where the presence of IO-Riek forces, supporters or sympathizers is assumed to be. This is one of the ways to maintain security situation in the country. IO-Riek forces/sympathizers listen only through RRF channel only.

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              • 26 January 2017 01:20, by Paul Ongee

                The National Dialogue must be backed up with Rapid Response Forces (RRFs) of Government to counter any emergency insecurity situation created by IO-Riek in any part of South Sudan where the presence of IO-Riek forces, supporters or sympathizers is assumed to be. This is one of the ways to maintain security situation in the country. IO-Riek forces/sympathizers listen only through RRF channel only.

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                • 26 January 2017 01:23, by Paul Ongee

                  If we can do it in Juba City during Christmas and Happy New Year, why not in other parts of the country where there is sporadic insecurity especially along the major state roads.

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          • 26 January 2017 08:56, by jubaone

            Paul Ongee,
            You foolishly contradict yourself. You say no IOs in Equatoria and WBG except robbers, then you request the deployment of RRFs in these areas for what? Just take a free ride to Yei, Torit and Maridi or Raga and come back to Juba. You may be lucky if your not a MTN. Good that such hopeless jienge scoundrels like you have been pinned down in Juba with no easy exit.

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  • 27 January 2017 06:01, by Eyez

    Paul Ongee
    Either you’re one stupid, arrogant and a sorry ass Jienge bastard or a Jienge with an identity crises, because, otherwise you won’t be dancing to false tunes, praising the "the bubble thoughts" of your clansmen.

    No system will work without peace, security or stability. And like it or not, Equatoria is ready to mend it or break it. So keep talking of only robbers and bandits.
    AnYa-nYa X

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