South Sudan: Civilians Evacuate Renk Town Due to Shelling.
Feb 17, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Renk county and its neighboring areas at the far north of the country have been in turmoil for the last five days. Consecutive clashes between the two factions of SPLA, the SPLA-Juba and SPLA-IO, have raged from Kaka Turjeria, Manyo County, to the bordering towns in Renk County in the last few days.
While Juba has had upper hand in this part of the region for the last one year, latest battles have inflicted heavy loses on SPLA-Juba.
According to SPLA military sources from Northern Upper Nile, the battles have been deadly, leaving trails of dead and wounded soldiers, majorly in Kaka and its suburbs.
The government soldiers fleeing Kaka to neighboring Renk, Palouch and Adar have raised panic in these areas, forcing the residents to cross the border to Kosti and border towns in Sudan.
Unconfirmed number of people have been reportedly wounded in Renk as artillery hit the town from the western side of the Nile River, an area controlled by the forces of SPLA-IO, according to local sources.
The SPLA [IO] sources have further confirmed minor clashes on the west bank of the river, southwest of Renk, alleging that their forces overran an area that was originally controlled by SPLA-Juba.
In the late afternoon, yesterday, civilians fled Renk amid shelling; fearing that fighting could erupt at any time between the SPLA-Juba forces and SPLA-IO fighters.
Related reports indicate that the shelling from the western side of the river began at 4:00 p.m., prompting the civilians to flee toward areas along the Upper Nile-Sudan border.
Following the battle of Kaka, and yesterday shelling, Nyamilepedia confirmed today from the natives on the ground that at least few people were injured in the shelling, and Palouch air trip has been very busy exiting the wounded soldiers to Juba. Some tukuls were also burned by stray bullets.
The opposition further admitted having launched an attack on Kaka area southwest of Renk, claiming to have captured the town.
Capt. Paul Malith spokesman of Div-7 said the two warring parties were in combat for five hours yesterday and succeeded in overrunning Kaka. He told Nyamilepedia that their forces took Kaka from the government following serious shelling on their position.
“It is not a surprise that the government have carried out attacks in Shilluk kingdom for the whole of this week as you may have witnessed Lt. Gen. Johnson Gony Bilieu was inciting the attack and vowed to overrun our current position in Wedakona over state run SSTV,” he added.
Malith further claimed that their forces have captured 12 pickup trucks, mounted with heavy weapons, two Walid armored personnel carriers and a store of ammunition in Kaka.
Attempt to reach the SPLA-Juba faction to comment on the reports has been overshadowed by the latest media resolutions from the Minister of Information, and Government Spokesman, Michael Makuei Lueth.
Hon. Makuei threatens to shutdown any media house and/or drag journalists to court should they report the two sides of the conflict or any defeat of the governments allied forces.
“Miraya: you are interviewing rebels. If it happens again we are shutting you down. And this must be made very clear. We are shutting you down if you interview any rebel here to disseminate his or her plans and policies within South Sudan,” said Makuei.