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SPLA chief of staff in Bahr el Ghazal for military operations

April 15, 2017 (JUBA)- The chief of general staff of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) is in Bahr el Ghazal to lead military operations against armed opposition forces after renewed clashes in the region.

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President Salva Kiir, (L), accompanied by army chief of staff Paul Malong Awan, (R), waves during an independence day ceremony in the capital Juba, on July 9, 2015 (Photo AP)

A high-ranking military officer told Sudan Tribune on Saturday that General Paul Malong Awan is in the region to oversee military operations after renewed clashed erupted in Wau and Raja.

“The chief of general staff is on the mission. He is Bahr el Ghazal now. He was in Aweil on Thursday and Wau on Friday. He is there to talk to the local command there and to ensure that they have enough manpower and military weapons to deal with the recent rebel activities,” a military source told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

The military who is not authorised to speak to the press said they were now refocusing their efforts to addressing security matters in the region.

“We have refocused our efforts on figuring out what to do to stop the activities of the rebels,” he said, adding that more troops are now being mobilised to be dispatched to Raja.

“The issue of Raja requires an urgent attention and is one of the reasons the chief of general staff is in the region. He is talking to the division commanders to send more forces to reinforce forces on the ground. What was in Raja was a brigade but now because of these operations, there is a need to increase the number of the forces there. The command is thinking of sending more forces”, he said

Local officials in Lol state have claimed that political differences between the chief of general staff and governor Rizik Hassan Zachariah have compromised working relationship.

The differences are seen as the reasons the command has been hesitant about providing weapons, ammunition or other military support to the area.