South Sudan’s Day Long Fierce Fighting Stopped By an Heavy Rain

A gunship seen hovering over South Sudan capital while fighting resumes(Photo: file)

A gunship seen hovering over South Sudan capital while fighting resumes(Photo: file)

July 10, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– A day long conflict in South Sudan capital, Juba, saw no winners or losers. The soldiers put down their guns after a day long battle at around 8pm because it became dark and due to heavy rain – mixed with thunderstorms.

While Machar’s SPLA-IO force is not just lightly armed, they are less than 1400 in number compared to Salva Kiir’s over 10, 000 SPLA soldiers.

The SPLA-IO have no nearby reinforcement; however, they strongly believe in their fighting skills and past victories against Kiir’s loyalists.

“We are proud to the teeth of our few freedom fighters who have shown bravery, confidence and courage for having withstand the storms(attacks) of president Salva Kiir’s and Paul Malong’s militias. They bravely fought them back in self-defense, killing a lot of them, taking their military tanks, and vehicles in good condition…It is heart that fights, not number.” Said Gatdiet Peter, a media columnist for SPLM/SPLA-IO

“We acknowledged their job well done despite the loses which can happen in any battle field. God bless our men in uniforms!!” Gatdiet continued.

Although the well armed SPLA of Salva Kiir tried hard to lock down all exit routes and to contain the fighting in a strategically chosen Jebel Kunjur behinds the mountains to keep the fighting away from the city,  the SPLA-IO has proven so difficult to be handled.

According to the spokesman of the armed opposition, SPLA(Juba) plan was to corner the armed opposition into an open area and force them to dead-end with no exit.

“We discovered their logic long time ago. The reason they chose this area for our cantonment was to keep us away from the children and women so that when they start a war like now, they will try to push us away from civil population into that open area behind the mountain so that they can easily bomb us with their cluster bombs while chasing us with their tanks and mounted trucks. In such situation, none of us would survive” The spokesman said.

Contrary, the war turned out so messy. The SPLA in opposition repulsed SPLA-IG  at Jebel Kunjur and pursued them to Gudele area. Defection from SPLA on Kiir’s side also boost moral for the SPLA-IO.

More than 7 generals who reportedly broke away from Kiir’s side, took charge of fighting at the army headquarters in Bilpham and also at near the airport.

“There is serious ongoing fighting between government and opposition forces, including near the airport, UNMISS locations, Jebel and elsewhere throughout Juba. U.S. citizens in Juba should remain vigilant.” U.S. embassy in South Sudan states on its social media.

According to James Gatdet Dak SPLA-IO also “closed Luri and Yei roads” after overrunning  it from government control.

The SPLA-IO has allegedly destroyed seven tanks and trucks, and captured three other tanks in good condition.

From SPLA-IO, one general, Lt. Gen. Dau Turjong, defected to government side but without army.

“Gen. Dau Atur Jong, PLA IO Deputy Chief of General Staff for Training has just defected to the National Army-SPLA.” Said Brig. Lul Ruai Kong, the SPLA-IG military spokesman.

To the armed opposition, Gen. Dau’s defection could mean very little if not nothing.

“General Dau Aturjong has defected alone to his former foe, General Paul Malong Awan. Actually he has no troops in Juba or anywhere in South Sudan. He had never fought war when he was with us for two years. He is a frustrated officer because he controls nobody.” Gatdet Dak said.

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