South Sudan Rebels Capture “7 Tanks” In Unity State, Defense Oil fields
June 4, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s armed opposition, under the chairmanship of Dr. Riek Machar, the country’s former Vice President, reports that their forces have just captured “seven more tanks, all in good condition”, in Unity State.
According to the Opposition’s spokesman for the leadership, James Gatdet Dak, the SPLA [IO] came under heavy attacks at around 9am on Wednesday at Rot Riak town near Unity State oil fields, which the rebels have shutdown and have maintained since December 2013.
“They attacked our forces at 9am at Rot Riak area situated at the main road junction between Panakuach and Unity oilfields. Our troops repulsed the attack with huge casualties inflicted on pro-government forces.” Dak said.
“Seven tanks in good condition were among the war equipment captured from the government. Juba forces were therefore dispersed and ran in disarray in the direction of Mayom or Warrap state” He continued.
According to James Gatdet, the attacking government force comprises of a loose alliance of fighters from various divisions, including members of presidential guards, Tigers.
“The massive attack involved thousands of government soldiers from various army Divisions 4,3 and 5 including Tiger Division as well as pro-government militia forces of Matthew Puljang.” Mr. Dak said.
The Opposition believes that Juba was making efforts to recapture the direly needed oilfields in Unity State.
“The aim of the major offensive by the government was to try to recapture oilfields under the control of the opposition forces in Unity oilfields.” Dak said.
“Another force that attempted to push towards Pariang area were defeated and repulsed as well. These latest attacks are a continuation of the government’s “full scale war” project which is in violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement signed by the warring parties in South Sudan since 23 January 2014.” he concludes.
The allied government troops, militias and rebels, which fight on the side of Salva Kiir, carried out major offensives in April and May in both Unity and Jonglei states in what the opposition believes was an attempt to capture more territories before the rains intensify.
Although the government troops captured some major towns and many villages in Unity state, loyal troops were whelmed by major defeats in Panyinjiar county, Unity State, in which the government lost many troops, counties commissioners and state officials, mostly, from Lake state.
Fighting under a recently defected general, Maj. Gen. Khamis Abdel-Latif, the rebels report to have captured 17 mounted trucks, pick-ups and tanks in Nyal Administrative area.
War in Malakal and Aweil, Norther Bhar el Ghazal
In other reports, while the capital of Upper Nile state, Malakal, continues to exchange hands through major offensives, war escalates to Norther Bhar el Ghazal state.
According to military sources of SPLA-IO, the rebels have seized parts of Aweil county and established temporary military barracks at Achana Payam in Northern Bahr el Ghazals State this morning.
“Freedom fighters have just captured Achana Payam in Aweil county of Northern Bhar el Ghazals State this morning under commandership of Gen.Dau Aturjiong . Our forces are advancing towards key locations and more updates will follow” The Deputy Spokesperson, Nyarji Jermlili Roman, confirms.
In Juba, while reacting to “home-coming” of five out of ten former detainees, supposed to be in accordance with Arusha Peace Agreement, President Salva Kiir has reversed many controversial dismissals of high ranking SPLM elites. He now agrees to reinstate Dr. Riek Machar and most of the exiled politicians into their previous positions in the severely divided SPLM party.