Home | News    Tuesday 8 August 2017

South Sudan rival forces trade accusations over ceasefire violations after Pagak’s capture

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South Sudan's army soldiers drive in a truck on the frontline in Panakuach, Unity state April 24, 2012. (Reuters Photo)
August 7, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudanese rival forces on Monday traded accusations in which each side attempted to portray the other as the cause of the military attacks leading to the fall of the rebel headquarters.

The South Sudanese warring parties confirmed Monday the fall of the main rebel stronghold of Pagak near the Ethiopian border by the government forces. The new development raises questions about the unilateral declaration of cessation of hostilities by President Salva Kiir last May. But, Juba recently maintained that they are facing rebel attacks on their positions.

Paul Lam Gabriel, deputy spokesman of the armed opposition fighters said in a statement on Monday that their forces in Pagak were forced to withdraw from the town after government forces launched a ground attack on Sunday supported by air cover using heavy weapons despite the presence of civilians.

“Because of the artillery and bombardments, our forces decided to pull out from Pagak to avoid civilians being caught up in the cross fire. Now the government is controlling Pagak. It was an unprovoked attack, which is a clear violation of the ceasefire they claimed to have declared in May. Now you wonder why the same party which claimed to have issued unilateral ceasefire launched attacks,” asked Lam.

Santo Domic, deputy spokesman of the government forces confirmed the presence of government forces in Pagak, the main rebel-controlled town in Upper Nile region at South Sudan-Ethiopia border.

He claimed the South Sudanese forces responded to an attack carried out on the government held positions in the area by armed opposition SPLA-IO of the former Vice President Riek Machar, resulting in the defeat and subsequent takeover of their headquarters during hot pursuit operations on Sunday.

“When fighting breaks out and one retreats, the other ensures the retreating party is pursued to a point that it would not have the capability to make another comeback," he said.

"What I want to say here is that our forces were attacked by the rebels of Riek Machar and so they acted in self-defence (operations) during which they pushed them away and - in the process - took over where they used to launch their attacks on the positions of our forces. It was a response to frequent attacks which our forces have been repulsing”, stressed the military spokesperson.

Also, Presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny also confirmed the takeover of rebel headquarters by the government forces on Sunday, describing it as “a necessary action” in self-defense.

The governor of Maiwut state, Bol Ruach Rom said in a separate interview with Sudan Tribune that the rebel headquarters is now under the control of the government forces and was preparing to visit the area with congratulatory messages to the government forces and the civilian population.

“The anti-peace elements have been defeated and forced to leave Pagak yesterday on Sunday afternoon because they realized that they could not match the capabilities of our forces".

"Their decision to leave gives us the opportunity to control and manage our border with the Ethiopia".

"The takeover of Pagak means a lot to the people of the area. It means that there will be peace and the overall stability returning to the area and to our neighbours”, explained governor Rom, himself a native of the area.

(ST)

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  • 7 August 23:41, by john akeen

    Ok Rebels, what da hall are you trash people talking about, just say our troops defeated you in your stronghold area instead of talking nonsense in the media, last time when our president declared a ceasefire, what did you say? didn’t you say that our president Kiir declared a ceasefire only with Taban Deng Gai IO, and you’re not a part of that ceasefire. You fool ass trash, talking about

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    • 7 August 23:55, by john akeen

      you decided to pull out from Pagak to avoid civilians being caught up in the crossfire, you are a liar, just say you got defeated and plus you have no choice but to run easy like that

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      • 8 August 00:22, by Newsudan

        no ceasefire,now maybe in future

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        • 8 August 00:27, by Nairobimitot

          Many thanks to the government of South Sudan. Thank you for working for peace. I do not know how I can thank the government of South Sudan. Oh God bless South Sudan.

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    • 8 August 07:59, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      After Pagak, what will be a solution?
      Let government disarm the unauthorized guns in the Republic of South Sudan in order to avoid the road and random attack on the innocence travellers along the roads around the country.

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  • 8 August 01:30, by Kush Natives

    I am like really? If it’s the same rebels that took and armed 26,000 Lou Nuer civilians to the front-line in Bor 2013, then what’s the hell are they talking about here? What made you worried about the civilians in cross-fire this time? Why not accept defeat? The rebels holiland of Pagak is completely dismentaled! As we’re speaking, rebels have no sanctuary in South Sudan.

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  • 8 August 02:36, by lino

    Any army around the globe can win a battle but no army have won a war today!!!
    You are Jubilen when winning, but never know the way ahead!!!

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    • 8 August 02:55, by South South

      Linoism,
      Please stop talking nonsense here, we are not interesting for excuses. Why do rebels ran away from Pagak? Because they are weak and they can not talk the heat. Let me tell you, we are going from bush to bush day by day, all away down to victory, enjoy loser.

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      • 8 August 05:16, by lino

        Keep your existing mood brother!!! Dr. John had changed his HQ many times during the war but never defeated though losing battles; we were there street!! Kiir Mayardiit knows the game, but may have forgotten because he is the government.
        SS army will go run from bush to another! It a dream; unless you started going house to house!!!

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  • 8 August 03:04, by john locke

    South south, stop.. haha. Pagak is still in thenhands of we the IO. 100 soldiers loyal to kiir crossed the ethiopian border and have deserted after a lengthy battle. Many of kiirs men have been chased. We defeated them at mathiang and chased them to pagak where we trapped them. Pagak remains ours. Do not believe the lies.

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    • 8 August 04:12, by South South

      john locke,

      I would not waste my time with you here, I see something not ok.

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  • 8 August 06:52, by Lenin Bull

    The IO don’t reason with their brain but only believe in seeing and this is a sign of fool-hardies. When we saw some signs of war symptoms towards Pagak, we advised the IO/Gajaak sons and daughters to avoid this incoming disaster and strike their own peace with government forces to avoid unnecessary deaths and destruction to Maiwut state and its people but fell to deaf ears. where are we now?

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  • 8 August 06:59, by Lenin Bull

    Now look at your own losses: Pagak burned down to ashes by the munition stores that set into fire while the coward rebels were running away from the mighty SPLA army, maize fields, sorghum fields, cows, sheep, chickens were vehicles etc were all left in Pagak. Lou-Nuer white army, Gajook white army, Jikany-Chieng sons runaway back to Bentiu. The war is lost leaving Gajaak sons dying alone

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  • 8 August 07:12, by Lenin Bull

    Gajaak sons are dying alone in Maiwut and Pagak for unknown reason at all when Riek is blind and under house arrest in South Africa for war crimes and crimes against humanity and will not come back alive may be in coffin, Equatorians have left superstitious NGUNDAENG’s movement for NASA of Bari with KOKora as one of its ten commandments etc. What is the use of Gajaak resistance and deaths ?

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  • 8 August 07:21, by Lenin Bull

    Numskulls where is Nasir, Bentiu, Leer, Adokbhar, Ayod, Waat, etc. They have been captured by SPLA and the white army of NGUNDAENG ran for good never to return. Why NGUNDAENG doesn’t have prophecies of when IO will capture the country or when Riek will return from Reuben Island Prison. Perhaps we will conclude that NGUNDAENG did not receive his revelations from GOD but only on mokoyo influences.

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  • 8 August 07:31, by Lenin Bull

    People of Maiwut State especially the Gajaak are my beloved in-laws and I hate seeing them being exposed to such dangers. Iam doing the little I could to give them a clue on how to evade this disaster brought on them by Riek Machar. May GOD protect the innocent ones in Maiwut State and may he shine wisdom on my brother Gen.Garchuol Giet to change course for good reason there and make peace withSPL

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  • 8 August 09:42, by gatkhor Nueri

    Dear All for Good information to all of you or to kleptocacy government
    please you call againt to pagak if government there. some of them went to jekow and mading chie chany by their own foot.
    SPLM-I.O You did the best.

    Dr.Machar is Coming Soon

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    • 8 August 10:00, by Newsudan

      Gatkhori Nueri
      Keep singing Dr Risky is coming soon until you say ,he is gone, 30 years house arrest is nice deal

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  • 8 August 09:52, by Majesty

    The war Salva Kiir created can’t end with capturing of remote places. With Riek Machar rotting there, Kiir himself has to go for peace to reveal. An interim administration after him would charter the way forwards. Otherwise, we must be ready to remain in current mess for very long time.

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