February 27, 2017 (PAGAK) –South Sudanese rebels said they foiled a coordinated attack from pro- government forces on Monday in Tharwangyiela and Thonyor areas of the oil-rich Unity state.
- Lul Ruai Koang speaks to the press in Addis Abab on May 9, 2014 (AFP Photo)
The armed opposition spokesperson, Colonel William Gatjiath Deng claimed they defeated pro-government forces after they attacked their bases in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Central Equatoria states.
“In self-reference, the gallant SPLA-IO forces of Sector Two (2) under the command of Lt. General Maguek Gai Majak repulsed the Juba regime operation at Thonyol and Tharwangyile back to Leer and Bentiu respectively”, Deng said in a statement.
During these attacks, he added, the armed opposition forces allegedly killed 25 pro-government soldiers as they attempted to regain territories held by their forces, allegations Sudan Tribune could not verify.
The armed opposition official, separately claimed government had allegedly resorted of deploying agents of “poison” internally displaced persons currently living in refugee camps within Unity state.
The armed opposition spokesperson further claimed a “government agent” was caught in Yumbe district of northern Uganda, allegations Sudan Tribune could not easily verify. The region currently hosts thousands of refugees who fled the ongoing fighting in neighbouring South Sudan.
“The deployment by the Juba regime of chemical agents to poison South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries, Uganda notwithstanding, is an escalation of chemical warfare use in the ongoing war in South Sudan,” the rebel spokesperson said.
“This is a clear message to the Ugandan government that the Juba regime is not at all joking when it comes to committing mass murder against non-Dinka South Sudanese even on Ugandan soil for Uganda, its government and people to be blamed,” the rebels spokesman said.
However, the rebel official is urging the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to put in place a surveillance security system to monitor non-Dinka South Sudanese refugee settled in Uganda.
“With the intensification of deployment of the Juba regime chemical weapon agents to commit mass atrocities against South Sudanese refugees in the neighboring countries, there should be no further doubt why thousands of South Sudanese have refused to vacate UNMISS protection Sites within South Sudan and in government-controlled areas, including the in the capital Juba,” he further claimed.
The armed opposition is urging the East African regional bloc (IGAD), African Union and the U.N. Security Council to stop supporting President Salva Kiir despite his “growing war crimes and crimes against humanity”.