Dec 11, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— South Sudan Army Chief, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, confirms to media that at least 55 South Sudan forces, who were pursued into DR Congo by rebel forces, remain in detention.
Gen. Malong, however, promises that South Sudan Ambassador to DRC is expected to visit the detained soldiers and coordinate their release and deportation back to South Sudan.
Speaking to Radio Bhakita, Gen. Malong regrets that his forces were overpowered by rebels and forced to cross the border.
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Despite earlier reports from SPLA-IG spokesman, Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Kong, the army chief told journalists that SPLA-IO still occupy Lasu, Kegulu and Omasi but he assures that his troops are reinforcing to retake the towns from rebels.
According to SPLA-IO sources in Yei River County, the Opposition have taken most parts of Central Equatoria within the last few weeks, a report Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai terms as a propaganda to create psychological pressure on his government.
Gen. Malong, who spoke on Friday in Juba, said he will facilitate a visit to the detained soldiers to persuade them to return to South Sudan.
According to local radio station in Oba, DRC, the soldiers may not accept to return to front line in South Sudan but Malong said he will seek their consent.
Salva Kiir government has sent at least two delegations to Kinshasa, DRC, led by Defense Minister, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk, and a later delegation led by Hon. Deng Alor Kuol. The two delegations called on DRC to deport over 700 SPLA-IO, who accompanied Dr. Machar into Congo in August, but the Congolese declined.
In other reports, the army chief denies deployment of over 4000 tribal militia as it was announced last week by UN organs in New York.