SPLA claims tactical withdrawal from Central Equatoria town

SPLA spokesman Brig. Lul Ruai Koang flanked by SPLA officers in Guit County of Unity State in 2016 (File photo)

September 15th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s army,  the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) said on Saturday that they have withdrawn from a Central Equatoria town following what it claims as attack by opposition forces for two consecutive days.

South Sudan rebels led by the country’s former First Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar Teny said on Friday that they have been attacked by government troops in violation of the permanent ceasefire agreement less than 24 hours after two leaders from both sides signed the long awaited revitalized peace deal.

In a statement issued on Saturday evening and seen by the Nyamilepedia,  the SPLA official spokesperson Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang said they have tactically withdrawn from Central Equatoria town of Kupera following an attack by rebel forces.

“The Ministry of Defense & Veterans Affairs and SPLA GHQs would like to inform the people of South Sudan, the region, International Community, IGAD and TROIKA that a Platoon Sized Force deployed at Mbudu Forward Observation Post, Kupera County in Yei River State conducted tactical withdrawal after being attacked for two consecutive days by SPLA IO fighters loyal to Dr. Riek Machar,” Lul said in a statement.

Lul said the attacked by opposition forces against their bases in Jamara and Sokare in Kupera and Kajo-Keji respectively resulted in the severe wounding if two SPLA soldiers

“A second group of rebels attacked own forces deployed at Jamara Military Outpost , Kupera County on 13th and 14th September 2018. A third force attacked Sokare, Kajo-Keji County on 14th and again today 15th September 2018. The unprovoked attacks on our defensive trenches at Mbudu, Jamara and Sokare resulted in two of own soldiers getting martyred while eight others sustained gunshot wounds with varying degree of severity,” he said.

He accused SPLA-IO forces under the command of Maj. Gen. John Mabieh Gar of masterminding the attack saying similar attacks has been ongoing in Southern Unity region as rebels aims at capturing important areas they believe would be their assembly points for cantonment of their troops.

“The SPLA IO fighters responsible for carrying out such attacks are under overall commander of Maj. Gen. Mabiy Gar. In Southern Liech State, SPLA IO fighters occupied Mirmir Junction which connects Leer with Bentiu town hence effectively denied civilians freedom of movement,” he said.

He said the army regret the attack and urges the ceasefire monitoring body,  the CTSAMM to rein for the aim of investing the breaches reiterating the army’s commitment to the permanent ceasefire agreement signed in June this year.

“SPLA reiterates its commitment to the Final Peace Agreement in general and Permanent Cessafire Agreement in particular but will not hesistate to fight in self defence in the face of continuous unprovoked, unwarranted and counter productive attacks,” he added.