Rebels march toward Paloch
April 9, (Nyamilepedia) — As confirmed by the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) imagery of the strategic town of Kaka, an attack on Paloch’s oil fields is imminent. Kaka was recaptured from the government forces around March 24 by the rebels, however, clashes continued, as the report indicates.
“Kaka is currently under the control of rebel forces, according to the SPLA, and it was recaptured by opposition forces around March 24. There has been fighting in the town as recently as one week ago, and much more recently in nearby Tunga and Wadakona towns” The SSP reports
Dr. Riek, the leader of the South Sudanese armed opposition, has announced his intents to capture the oil fields from the government forces last week. He believes that such a move would reduced Juba’s abilities to buy arms and to hire mercenaries to attack their positions
Kaka town, on the west bank of White Nile river, is located south of the 1956 boundary. It lies on the road to Paloch, the only productive oilfields in the country. Paloch produces about 150, 000 barrels a day, which generates approximately $15 millions dollars.
Kaka has been a flashpoint for fighting between the anti-government forces backed by the white army against the allied government forces. The town is occupied by mostly Shilluck ethnic group and the main armed group that fights for the government in the area is the SSDM rebels led by Johnson Olony. Olony accepted an amnesty with the government in June last year. He has been fighting for the government until he was shot in the neck during the Malakal attack in mid February.
Although the SSDM accepted the peace deal with the Juba’s government, several grievances were not settled. This has created an internal misunderstanding within the ranks of SSDM.
The report has confirmed that SSDM forces, under the command of Olony’s former deputy, Ayok Ogat, have defected. The SSDM forces helped the government recaptured Malakal from rebels on Decemeber 27 although they were not fully integrated into SPLA.
The Shilluck community have several grievances with the government that include violent disarmament campaign in 2010 and land disputes, which may have cause the misunderstanding between Olony and his deputy, Ogat.
“The split in the SSDM/A between Olony and Ogat reflects the long list of grievances the Shilluk community have with the government, including a violent disarmament campaign in 2010 and a longstanding land dispute over three contested areas with the Dinka people in Upper Nile. There have been reports of targeted violence against the Shilluk in Malakal for Olony’s support of the SPLA.” The part of the report reads.