June 15, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —— A new rebel group has emerged in South Sudan’s Northern Bhar el Ghazal(Aweil) State, the hometown to South Sudan’s sacked Chief of General Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan.
According to their declaration, the new rebel group is led by Lt. Gen. Agany Abdel-Baqi Ayii Akol, a dinka by ethnicity from Aweil of Northern Bhar el Ghazal.
Compared to many rebel groups that emerged in the last two years, the new rebel group known as South Sudan Patriotic Army(SSPA), is seemingly more equipped and well organized, showing that the group could be sponsored or supported by powerful individuals or governments.
Within the last two days, SSPA has released documents and photos showing their arsenals and manpower. The new army has more than two pairs of uniforms, mounted pick-ups, PKMs, RPGs and other weapons.
According to the SSPA spokesperson, Deng Mareng, their troops already control major towns in Northern Bhar el Ghazal and are preparing to take Malualkon, the hometown of General Paul Malong Awan
On Wednesday, Mr. Mareng announced that their forces have captured Warguet and Malek Gumel areas in Northern Bahr al Ghazal, a state that has been relatively peaceful in the country for the past 3 years.
Adding to fighting in President Salva Kiir’s hometown of Gokrial State between Apuk and Aguok, which has claimed over 50 lives in the past two weeks, South Sudan conflict has escalated to every state in the country.
The emergence of the new rebel group in Aweil and the fallout of Gen. Paul Malong, who was brought to power in 2014 to end the conflict within 30 days in favor of the president, remain a shock to many South Sudanese.
Gen. Malong left the capital on May 9th with a huge troop and more than 12 armored vehicles and armed trucks, however, the general returned to capital a few days later with just a few bodyguards.
While insisting to be allowed to visit his hometown, Malong has ordered his militia, Mathiang Anyoor, to return to Aweil.
It is yet to be confirmed if the new rebellion has a direct link to the disgruntled general Paul Malong, however, the timing could be more than a coincident.
Supporters of the president in Aweil have denied the reports that the new rebellion has captured towns.
According to Aweil East Police Commissioner, Maj. John Daak, SSPA did not capture Warguet and Malek Gumel areas in Aweil East this week.
“What happened on Sunday is that, there was an attack by Misseriya raiders near Malek Gumel, but they were repulsed at the same time” Dak reiterated on social media.