South Sudan: Armed Opposition Building A Stronghold Around The Capital As Machar Recovers!

Forces of SPLA-IO forces organizing an assembly in the capital, Juba, South Sudan(Photo: file)

Forces of SPLA-IO forces organizing an assembly in the capital, Juba, South Sudan(Photo: file)

August 28, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– South Sudan’s armed opposition, the SPLM/SPLA-IO, which was uprooted from the capital in July, has built strongholds around the capital, Juba.

Many senior generals including the Sector Commander for Central Equatoria, Lt. Gen. Jock Gai, and Lt.Gen. Martin Kenyi, the Overall Commander for Easter Equatoria forces, have declined to accompany the chairman and other senior generals to safety through DR Congo.

They said they have to remain on the ground to build “Pagak 2”  around Juba to ensure that Salva Kiir’s government succumb to their genuine call for “peace and freedom”.

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They accused the government forces of contantly preying on them,  attacking and bombarding their position, but they commit that they won’t leave Central Equatoria State, which harbors the capital.

The generals reports that the government attacked their position on Wednesday and Thursday but they claimed to have defeated the enemy and destroyed or capture their “big weapons” and ammunitions.

The recent fighting was in Gimunu along the Juba-Yei road but the overall Sector Commander, Lt. Gen. Jock Gai, assures that his men remain in full control of their newly acquired stronghold.

Asked of why Machar and the Chief of Staff were evacuated, he said their presence gives Salva Kiir administration hopes and reason to push young men to fire with the intention to kill or capture Machar and the top leadership of SPLM/SPLA-IO.

Other credible sources confirmed that Machar had a knee dislocation that needed medical attention and had to be distanced from the frontline.

“Yes, he felt and had a knee dislocation. This led to foot infection but it is now treated and Machar is stable” the source said.

For more than 40 days, the rebels have fought many unreported battles against the government  troops here along the Juba-Yei Road, Yei River County, Mundri and other parts of Equatora before crossing their top leaders over to DR Congo, something that has annoyed Juba.

“so that thing of course annoyed us and we have explained to him that this is what happened and he is going to convey the message to his country and that we were not informed about the coming into our border with the flight from Congolese. So they shouldn’t come to our airspace without getting permission from this country,” Said Michael Makuei Lueth, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting.

According to government accounts, Congolese charters entered South Sudan airspace and landed without the knowledge of Salva Kiir’s government.

“They [DRC] entered with a flight into the border without the knowledge of the government of the Republic of South Sudan” Lueth said.

Although the United Nations take credit for airlifting the First Vice President from an area within DR Congo to the capital, Kinshasa; Salva Kiir’s government is summoning the Congolese ambassador to South Sudan to explain how his government airlifted Machar to safety.

“We summoned the Congolese Ambassador in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, because we were protesting on the border limitation that happened last week when the forces belonging to the former First Vice President crossed the border with him,” said the foreign ministry spokesman Mawien Makol

The rebels are threatening that they will overrun the capital if the peace agreement is not reinvigorated and Machar reinstated to his position as the First Vice President of the Transitional Government of National Unity.

Machar has been recovering for the last one week but he is now stable and expected to speak to media within the next few days.