May 18, 2017 (Nyamilepedia) —— The largest faction of the SPLM/A in Opposition under the direct leadership of the former First Vice President Riek Machar clashed with South Sudan army at Korgulu in Yei, captured it and surrounded parts of Yei town, states a press statement issued by SPLA-IO deputy spokesman Lt Col. Lam Paul Gabriel.
Lam claimed SPLA-IO Division 8B under command of Maj. Gen John Mabieh was attacked by South Sudan forces at Korgulu yesterday in which commander Mabieh managed to defeat them towards Sanjasiri, Lutaya and TTC. According to the deputy spokesperson, the government forces suffered heavy human loss. Gen Lam reports that more than fifty government soldiers were killed and several others were injured, this includes Col.Mayola Deng Guut.
“SPLA-IO operation base of Division 2B under the command of Maj. Gen John Mabieh in and around Korgulu came under the usual aggressive attack of government militias at about 0500hrs on 16/05/2017. They were repulsed and pursued by our gallant force to Korgulu, Sanjasiri, Lutaya and TTC inside Yei. Over 50 government soldiers were killed and several injured including Col.Mayola Deng Guut who was rushed to Juba military hospital. We lost 3 freedom fighters and 7 injured. A good deal of weapons and ammunitions captured in good conditions,” states Gen. Lam Gabriel
Parts of Yei town that SPLA-IO alleged to have surrounded include Hai Dam, Lutaya and New Site and government forces are claimed to have been confined inside Yei Barrack.
The statement further alleges that forces loyal to South Sudan army shelled villages around Yei targeting civilians. The SPA-IO is reported to have warned civilians not to get near Yei town so to avoid being targeted by South Sudan soldiers.