By Honeywell Dickens Okello
April 19, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — According to a statement released by Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, Military Spokesperson for SPLA/M in Opposition, the Gallant SPLA/M Forces under overall Command of Military Governor of Unity State, Maj. Gen. James Koang Chuol, totally annihilated government troops and completely destroyed their artillery and armory capabilities.
“In the battle for total control of Bentiu town and the surrounding villages on April 15, 2014, after two days of conducting searches on former defensive positions for government troops, bushes and retreat routes, the Gallant SPLA forces discovered that they had inflicted heavy losses on the enemy forces in terms of personnel and materials.”
He says 10 tanks and APCs were destroyed, four tanks were captured, two trucks mounted with 14.5 each with four barrels were also captured as well as BM 21 multi-rocket launcher with 40 barrels.
“Two Brigadier Generals and one Colonel were killed in action along with an estimated 1200 servicemen.”
He adds: “15 pro-government militias from SSLA/M faction under the command of Lt. Gen. Bapiny Monytuel were captured and would be treated in accordance with Geneva Conventions.”
Further, the statement indicates that a “Government Maj. Gen. Karlo Kuol whom Sector One Commander had arrested a day before the fall of Bentiu to our forces on suspicion that he was engineering an internal revolt was found abandoned in detention by fleeing government troops, released and voluntarily joined the resistance movement.”
The top military leadership of Sector One under overall command of Lt. Gen. Jok Riak, Maj. Gen. Yohanness Yoal Bath and the Government appointed Governor of Unity State, Dr. Joseph Nguen Monytuel, abandoned their forces and took a flight to Juba.
“The Political and Military Leadership of SPLA/M takes this golden opportunity and urges and appeals to innocent soldiers, officers and NCOs scattered and abandoned by their leadership to immediately report and surrender to the nearest SPLA/M in Opposition barracks.”
“The entire leadership assures surrendering servicemen that they would be received with open hands, minds and in good faith.”
“The SPLA/M leadership congratulates 4th Division under the command of Military Governor for Unity State, Maj. Gen. James Koang Chuol for a job well done.”
Machar explains that they “owe the success of our over 170 years struggle to the citizens of this country. We fought oppressors, invaders and emerged victorious”.
He notes in a social media message: “Any unplanned strategy to recolonise, invade this country by any other country will not be tolerated. They will suffer a similar fate.”
He dismisses all allegations that Greater Equatoria is not committed to the rebellion is way off the mark.
“With their assistance, we liberated Bentiu. Their representation too in the SPLM Opposition’s leadership is equally the same like the rest of the other states.”