South Sudan Rebels Warn Civilians To Vacate Contested Border Town of Nimule

SPLA soldiers resting in a contested Unity State Oil Fields after series of battles in May 2015(Photo: EP)

SPLA soldiers resting in a contested Unity State Oil Fields after series of battles in May 2015(Photo: EP)

July 05, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s rebels forces, under the country’s former vice President, urge the citizens in Nimule and other border towns to vacate the strategic towns along the South Sudan-Uganda border and Nimule-Juba highway with immediate effect.

According to Lt. Col. James Lokudu, who spoke to our editorial team on behave of the SPLA [IO] forces under the overall command of Maj.Gen. Martin Kenyi, the rebels attacked Nimule this morning to test the strength of government troops in the area.

The lieutenant colonel ascertained attacking the strategic town of Nimuli at around 1am this morning, however, regrets that their forces had to withdraw a few hours later to allow the citizens to safely vacate the town.

“We are people army, we are fighting for federalism and freedoms for our people. we do not want to hurt them in anyway, that is the work of Salva Kiir. We attacked this morning, very well calculated to chase away the genocidal soldiers of tyrant Salva Kiir only. That is why we attacked only the army and police headquarters ” Lokudu said.

“After we saw many mothers and children running between bullets in the dark trying to escape to safety, we told our troops to back down and withdraw to allow civilians leave the town” he continued.

Col. Lokudu explains that their forces attacked Malakaya, Nimuli airport and the neighboring suburbs at around 1:25am and sustained the battle for a few minutes before the government troops and police began fleeing the town.

Lokudu said their forces captured two stores of ammunition, five mounted trucks and many AK47, RPGs and other light weapons in the town.

Fearing massive retaliation from the allied Ugandan-South Sudan troops, the rebels set blaze at least three trucks and the ammunition stores.

“We did not plan to stay in the town. We came purposely for the mission. We have destroyed what we could not carry – that all the government trucks, tanks and ammunition in the town” the Lt. Col. continues.

“We withdraw at 4am and we will come back any time. The citizens have to vacate this town, it is contested”  Lokudu warns.

Asked of their motive, the colonel replied: “this route must be shutdown to force Salva Kiir government to succumb for peace to return. This is final.”

According to James Gatdet Dak, the spokesperson of SPLM/A [IO] Chairman, their forces under the overall command of Major General Martin Kenyi preempted an attack by government forces on their positions in the area.

Gatdet further reiterates that their forces withdrew from the town but the opposition would be forced to close down the trade routes between Uganda and South Sudan if Salva Kiir government continue to delay peace.

“Clashes occurred inside Nimule town on Sunday at 1am until 4am when our forces withdrew from the town after destroying government’s war logistics in the area. SPLM/SPLA forces will be forced to close the trade route between Uganda and South Sudan at the Nimule border unless Salva Kiir’s government accepts peace and signs an agreement with the Movement.” said James Gatdet, the spokesman of the IO chairman.

From Nimule, the reports of fighting were confirmed by the VOA’s correspondent, Philip Thon Aleu.

“Since 4am, there is no more shooting. The shooting started at about 1:30am on Sunday… not far from my house. I was awakened by the loud sound of AK47. Three to four shots went off — from one gun according to my little military experience. After about 10 minutes, while I was now guessing what was happening, sounds of guns came from Malakaya suburb” Thon updates on his social media page.

“I made phone calls there and I was told some gunmen attacked a check point. After another few minutes, several shots were fired from Malakaya again and a thick smoke arose. Three trucks are set ablaze. Then back to my suburb, gunshots started again and Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) followed. Another RGP, another one and yet another (about four loud explosions)” Aleu states.

In other reports, the opposition have gunned down an early bird Ugandan gunship in Kodok, Upper Nile state, at around 7:20Am.

The armed opposition believes that the gunship has bombed their civil population, killing at least three civilians and injuring 13 others before the rebels’ defense unit retaliated, bringing down at least one of the two gunships.

12 comments

  • Nonsense propaganda,why don’t they go to Nimule and tell people there.

  • Is it Guerrillas or Gorillas in jangle? Okay Gorrillas love High places,Gorrillas sit exactly like those Gorrilla soldiers.Keep it boys.

  • Eastern

    Much as I don’t support neither SPLA-Kiir nor SPLA-Riek, I don’t think Nimule can be easily taken over. Nimule is the most strategic town in the whole of South Sudan, second only to Juba.

    Museveni’s support to Kiir gets to South Sudan through Niumle; there are a lot of battle equipment for the UPDF in South Sudan which Museveni can’t afford to lose by letting Nimule be captured just like that; in fact, Nimule will be the last town to be captured after the fall of Juba!

    SPLA-iO should not waste their time and the meagre resources by stretching further south to territories closer to the Ugandan border; they will be badly beaten here!

    The truth of the matter is, lazy soldiers were resisting deployment out of Nimule to other parts of South Sudan possibly to the current raging battle fronts. These soldiers afters years of living like civilians were angered by their proposed assignments. They ended up torching custom bonded goods including vehicles for the UN.

    Riek Macher and Martin Kenyi won’t come anywhere near Nimule, they know what wait them here!

    • same on riek machar claim that theirs force have Nimule border

    • Red Line

      In fact the message is exactly that. Nimule can be hit and any place in South Sudan can be hit. That is not all. Furthermore, people can hit anywhere, anytime and come out safe and leave behind casualties. Too good to be true but it has happened. The road can be closed any time. So the message is fairly clear. These guys went in the bush without, tanks, RPGs, AK 47s or a fully equipped division but they are able to organize, arm and fight. Those who thought war can only be prosecuted when people are armed beforehand are proved wrong. In fact in Equatoria war had always started on the industry of the people. Once it starts, it is going to be sustained. History is on this side of the fact.

      Of course some people who want to bury their heads in the trash, are still believing the government of Kiir has a control. Not in the way things appear right now. Prices are sky rocketing; South Sudanese pound is hitting the bottom; security in the city is worsening. All indicators are pointing to a totally failed government. So no doubt South Sudan is at the butt of failed state.

      Wake up. Do not behave like the thick sucking blood not knowing the cow is dead. The last time it wakes up is when it is tossed into the fire. That will be too late. It is looking too late now. From the tip of the northernmost point to southern most point, South Sudanese have risen in arms against the government of Kiir. Is there any doubt about it? Certainly no. Do not even waste your time trying to talk about Dinka. The Dinka themselves have risen against Kiir’s government. This is not about tribalism. It is just bad governance or kleptocracy pure and simple. No body ever benefits from such a system! Too bad.

      Forget it man! Wake up and try to recover from your stupor.

      Red Line.

  • CLAIM DEMOCRACY BY RIEK MACHAR CHANGE TO GOSSIPING
    I wonder how the SPLM In opposition telling lies to the public of South Sudan, if robberies who are under their economic pressure post them to robe the citizen in Nimule Riek forces claim responsibility, for reasonable citizen of this Nation can make conclusion that SPLM IO has definately fail in their operation and resort to psychology media propaganda to create fear to the citizen of this belove Nation
    General Martin Kenyi had no single force around Nimule and the business is usually going normal in Nimule, Tell your Dr by unfortunate Riek that if you mobilize all living and dead people from Nuer you use them for your greed leadership they can not enter to Nimule after all you are fighting the war between Hotel of Addis Ababa and Nairobi, South Africa, shame for the propagandist.
    Those who are fighting unjust war are people who are not organized their senses
    Long Live South Sudan
    Long Live Good Citizen
    South Sudan Oyeeee

    • shame on Riak Machar that theirs force have reached Nimule border . what you are bringing is the suffering of madi people you are using and you want them to go back to Uganda.

  • Rambo

    You can deny the fact that Nimule is SPLA IO strategic target like you said that its the road Museveni uses to carry his weapons to go & fight the freedom fighters which makes it a target infact their strategy of sending their military wing along Nimule Juba road has even been long over due.But now that Gen,Kenyi is in action life will never be the same again between Juba & Kampala in terms of business & military assistance to Kiir.infact there is no rebel group that wants to over run towns like Nimule & stays there at initial stage.They will hit on & off not only Nimule town but even abushes along that road will be uncountable.Even your saver Museveni cant stop ambushes unless if you tell me Museveni & Kiir will line up soldiers on both sides of the road from Nimule to Juba.

  • I have a question i want to ask my fellows south sudanes. did Riek Machar is a blessings or a cussed to south Sudan?

  • Toria

    Alonewole
    Riek is a blessing Kirr is a curse.
    As far as Nimule is concern it fits strategy of disrupting road connecting Uganda to S. Sudan, if it is true then this war is now taking a new direction and this will get people’s attention. The Madi people there have been suffering all along in the hands of dictator Kirr all this time, what makes the difference is that after Kirr is gone true peace shall resume all over SS.
    Eastern, remember when Garang’s forces first came to E Equatoria around 1985 to 87? The first towns he captured were along the borders, even then Jalabas were threatened, I think this is a good tactical maneuver by Riek and Kenyi’s forces. Keep pressure on Kiir until he resigns or runaway.

  • Okolo

    The SPLM/A – IO is exposing itself. Whenever a rebel force captures territory, it has to consolidate it by either capturing power or stopping the enemy from getting back the territory. SPLM/A – IO has not been able to do either of the two.
    Some of these combatants in SPLM/A – IO have fought rebel wars before and they should know better. If they say the reason for capturing Nimule is to cut off supply lines from Uganda, what will they do if Uganda chooses to airlift the logistics? Have they also captured Juba airport?
    SPLM/A – IO was supposed to have captured power in the first weeks of the rebellion. Now that they didn’t they should go and hang.

  • Toria
    I respected your opinion that Riek Machar is blessings, but it’s true. Riek Machar is cured to south sudanes. let me tell you your name can influence your deed. Riek Machar mean the dark distractions, that why Riek Machar distrory everything on pass since 1991 to1997 and again in 2013 until now people are still die because of Riek Machar. Kiir mayardiit is a blessing. his name influence his work. Kiir mayardiit mean the great white Nile, that why Kiir mayardiit been struggle to achieved our independent.