Government admit fighting in Yei but says it had been attacked first

Col. Dickson Gatluak Joak, military spokesman of FVP Taban Deng's forces allied to South Sudan government (File photo)

Col. Dickson Gatluak Joak, military spokesman of FVP Taban Deng’s forces allied to South Sudan government (File photo)

July 10th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan government on Tuesday admitted that fighting has been ongoing since morning between their forces and those of the opposition group loyal to the country’s former First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon.

The SPLM-IO, Machar’s opposition group, said on Tuesday afternoon that government troops had attacked their hide-out at Isebi village by government troops it said left from the county headquarters in Morobo town in the Yei River State.

Col. Dickson Gatluak Joak, the former spokesman of forces loyal to the first vice president Taban Deng Gai told the Nyamilepedia that it is the opposition troops who attacked them first but did not mention, the place, the time and how.

“We have been attacked by the SPLM-IO of Riek Machar and I have been aware of this since the morning. The SPLA IO wants to gain more territories ahead of monitoring team from AU and IGAD that will be dispatched soon to front lines,” he said.

He said their forces have been on the defensive position since the defense minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk, ordered them to stay in their current positions as part of the permanent ceasefire signed by Kiir and Machar last month in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

“We have been on defensive position only to act in self defense. Our forces were instructed last week by defense minister to observe the ceasefire agreement signed recently in Khartoum. So it was SPLA IO that carried attack on our position. We have no reason to attack them while the talks are in progress,” Gatluak told the Nyamilepedia.