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Rebels claim defeating South Sudanese army in several areas

Displaced women and children under a hot sun in South Sudan's Maban County, where food shortages are causing tension. (UNHCR/P. Rulashe Photo)

April 15, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudanese rebels allied to the ex-first vice president Riek Machar have claimed they repulse multiple attacks by the government forces in Western Bhar el Ghazal and Upper Niles regions.

Brigadier William Gatjiath Deng, rebel spokesperson says attacks by the government on their positions have forced them to retaliate and capture Raja, in Western Bhar el Ghazal on Friday.

In a statement released on Friday, he said clashes have left thirty-four (34) dead from the government side, adding their fighters captured six soldiers alive.

“The regime in Juba also lost to the brave SPLA-IO Lion Division forces under Cdr Major General Musa Hamed Dakuni a very good number of newly purchased arms including some 80 AK-47 and 4 RPG-7,” he further said.

A South Sudanese military source told Sudan Tribune Saturday that the army chief of general staff Paul Malong has moved to the region to supervise personally the military operations carried by the government forces on the rebel positions.

In another engagement in Waat and Matot of Upper Nile region, the rebels claim they destroyed eight (8) Land Cruisers vehicles mounted gun machines.

The rebel spokesperson said narrated that they forces are surrounding the Mathiang Anyor government forces in the area.

“The gallant SPLA-IO forces have also managed to protect and evacuate civilians too much safer locations, as the Juba regime continues to target them indiscriminately, burn villages, loot properties and inflict maximum sexual violence on women and young girls,” he added.

Similar fighting has also erupted in Unity State on Friday, with opposition claims of repulsing the attacks.

“On Friday April 14, 2017 the gallant SPLA-IO forces repulsed Juba regime aggression under the command of the most notorious and ruthless Major General Peter Toar Nyuel and Major General Manyoat, whom the JCE regime in Juba has been using to collide the Nuer with each and to further execute and advance the JCE policy of exterminating the non-Dinka South Sudanese in the area”.

Thousands of civilians fled the conflict-affected areas but there are no details about the bomber of the displaced population.0

UN agencies estimate that tens thousands have died, and over three million have been displaced, while 5.5 million are at risk of starvation.

Last February the U.N. declared partial famine in South Sudan and called to increase the international humanitarian assistance to the country.