South Sudan: Warring Factions Fight For Control of Territories In Norther Upper Nile
Dec 10, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Despite permanent ceasefire agreement, signed in August this year, the rival forces of South Sudan’s SPLA continue to battle for territories in oil-rich Upper Nile state.
According to latest reports from Northern Upper Nile, the government has attacked SPLA-IO territories in Owech payam yesterday morning, however, the rebels claim to have repulsed the attacks.
“Today around 8:15 AM, an infantry forces from South Sudan army crossed the border line from Lelo and attacked our position at Owech in Upper Nile state.” Said Col. William Gatjiath Deng, the SPLA-IO Military spokesman.
“SPLA/IO’s mighty army repulsed the attackers and fights them back to Lelo at 10:00AM” He continued.
On the state owned television in Juba, Col. Philip Aguer, announced a victory of their forces and said the government forces have captured at least 13 soldiers from SPLA-IO, a report the armed opposition’s spokesman denies.
According to Col. Gatjiath, their forces repulsed the attacks and Pagak can not verify or recognize the announced prisoners of war.
“In addition, the report broadcasted on the state owned SSTV by Philip Aguer about 13 prisoners of war captured from SPLA/IO is not true….We failed even to identify them individually from our Headquarters in Pagak.” Gatjiath said.
Col. Gatjiath believes the alleged captives are some of the prisoners, mostly from Equatoria, who have been arrested from different locations on accusation that they host rebels.
According to the spokesman, SPLA Chief of Staff, Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, calls on the international community, Red Cross and Salva Kiir government to free such individuals.
While the government has attacked and air raided rebels’ positions in Western Equatorai, Western Bhar el Ghazal and Eastern Equatoria, arrow boys and another new rebel faction, identified as SSAF, have claimed victories in counties of Equatoria region.
The SPLA in Opposition threatens that such continued attacks on their positions will derail the peace agreement.
“The continue aggression by government forces on our defensive positions around Western Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Western Bharel Gazal and Upper Nile will derail the implementation of peace agreement between the two warring parties. Air raid was carried out yesterday by Juba regime on our position in Western towns of Equatoria.” Col. Gatjiath said.
In other reports, Juba is not ready to receive a “large” advance delegation of SPLM in opposition that was expected to start arriving for peace implementation this Friday.