South Sudan Conflict Escalates To Jonglei and Upper Nile States
August 19, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— South Sudan’s recent fighting in Juba continues to escalate to areas in the north that have been relatively peaceful for the last one year.
In old Jonglei state, the two warring factions under Salva Kiir and his arch rival, Machar, engaged in a heavy battle this morning at Pajut of Bieh State.
Pajut has been more of a buffer zone between the two forces until Kiir’s forces sneaked in between the ceasefire agreements that never hold for the past two years.
Following the fighting this morning, the two sides claim to be in full control of Pajut and its surrounding areas.
According to Brig. Lul Ruai Kong, the military spokesman of Salva Kiir forces, Pajut was attacked by SPLA-IO but hbelieveses that the SPLA-IG repulsed them and maintained their positions, a report we could not independently verify.
“SPLA-IO elements under the overall command of “warmanga” and the former vice president Dr. Riek Machar launched attacks on SPLA positions in Pajut in newly created Bieh State. They made 3 attempts on Pajut but all attackers were defeated” Lul said.
According to Lul’s reports the attackers comprised of “elements from SPLA-IO” backed by white army contigents.
He claims that the SPLA-IO forces were led by Maj. Gen. Otong Liah and Gen Peter Wal Nyak.
Lul estimated the attacking force at around 3000 troops but he said their forces repulsed all attempts on their positions.
According to military sources of SPLA in Opposition, Pajut was overran after the government forces tried to move out of their barrack to gain more territory.
The SPLA-IG military spokesman, Lul Ruai Kong, further confirmed that their forces fell into an SPLA-IO ambush in Norther Upper Nile after they tried to move out of Renk town.
Government forces fell into ambushes near Yei town last week leading to death of many senior state officials.
Although Salva Kiir’s faction hopes to achieve peace without Dr. Riek Machar, government forces are besieged in major towns in Upper Nile and Equatoria regions making movement difficult for both soldiers and civilians.
The IO forces, which have vacated majors towns like Juba, do not leave and disappear entirely. Instead, they closed down major routes and hang around the towns until they are provoked or until the security arrangement is implemented.