April 04, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– Latest reports from Lanyi, Mundri East County of South Sudan’s Western Equatoria state confirmed a heavy fighting between the SPLA-IO and SPLA-Juba this evening.
According to reliable sources in the area, the government forces attacked the armed opposition loyal to the incoming First Vice President, Riek Machar, over cantonment areas in Mundri.
Speaking on behave of the commander of SPLA-IO forces in Mundri, Girma Apaya, reported to Nyamilepedia that the attack was launched at the order of the Governor of “Amadi State”, Mr. Joseph Nyere Pachico, with intent to prevent the SPLA-IO forces from establishing cantonment sites in the area.
“The main reason behind the fighting was to prevent SPLA IO forces assembling in cantonment areas as ordered by the Governor of Amadi State Mr. Joseph Nyere Pachico.” Said Apaya.
“The SPLA Juba forces which was based in Lanyi, these afternoon at around 3:00 pm was deployed to enter the cantonment site of SPLA IO forces in Singiriwa and to bombard and shell the location of the SPLA IO forces with heavy artilleries that can result in many lost of lives for both civilians and SPLM-IO forces in the area.” Apaya continued.
Apaya reiterates that the heavy fighting went on for more than two hours before it came to subside.
Speaking to East African Press, the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, admits that the government is still attacking their positions in Equatoria and Bhar el Ghazal region over cantonment areas, however, he is willing to return to Juba to resolve the matter with President Salva Kiir.
“For instance, the government is still fighting our forces in Equatoria and Bahr-el-Ghazal. These are not violations but a deliberate plan to force our forces out of these two regions and to show that we never had a presence there. ” Dr. Riek said.
According to SPLA-IO military intelligence in the area, fighting may resume in the morning, April 5th, as planned.
Apaya believes the new governor for Kiir’s Amanda state has met with the army forces commander in Western Equatoria two days ago and agreed to launch a new war in Western Equatoria, mostly in Mundri and Buagyi villages to claim the areas from the rebels.
“Two days ago Mr. Joseph Nyere ordered the deployment of SPLA Juba forces to Buagyi center and the reason for deployment of those forces was very simple to attack all villages in Buagyi and chase all local population bushes for their lives.” Said Mr. Apaya.
“The government army force Commander intended this evening in Lanyi to call for a rally with his forces that there shall plan for massive operations tomorrow April 5 2016.On his speech in the rally ,the commander clearly stated that anyone who crosses around their sight must smell bullet in the pretext that they are SPLA IO rebels.” he continued.
To SPLM/SPLA-IO, the recent attacks on their forces in Equatoria and Bhar el Ghazal are clear violations of the permanent ceasefire and compromise peace agreement that JMEC must take very seriously.
“We called upon JMEC and the international community to take Note of these violations seriously and we request that measures be taken against the commander of the forces in Greater Mundri and the governor of Amadi State Mr. Joseph Nyere Pachico.” Apaya said.
According to Apaya their forces are respecting the permanent ceasefire agreement and will not attack the government forces but he pledges their forces must fight in self-defense when provoked.
“The forces have assembled as per the terms of agreement awaiting verification by CTSAMM but will fight in self defense once provoked by the government forces.” he concludes.