June 11, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —— A heaving fighting between forces loyal to South Sudan Government and those loyal to Sudan People Liberation Movement in Opposition, under the leadership of the former First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, has forced SPLA-IG forces out of some of the most strategic towns in Northern Upper Nile.
Reports extended to Nyamilepedia one hour ago indicate the rebels have reclaimed Kuek, one of the most strategic and a heavily contested town in Norther Upper Nile.
According to military sources of SPLA-IO, Kuek was captured by the rebels after an intense military operations that has captured Kola and cleared many villages around Kuek as fighting intensifying in both the East and West Bank of Upper Nile.
According to Brig. Gen. William Gatjiath Deng, the military spokesman of SPLA-IO, their forces were provoked by an attack on their position west of Kola.
“Militarily, the ethno-centric regime is continuously attacking SPLA-IO positions and bases throughout South Sudan. Indeed, yesterday Friday June 09, 2017, its forces attacked SPLA-IO positions west of Kola which is in total violation of the very ceasefire it had proclaimed some weeks ago.” Brig. Gen. Gatjiath said.
“In response to this aggression and in an act of self-defence, the gallant SPLA-IO forces, under Cdr Lt. General Johnson Olony, Sector One Commander, fiercely engaged the aggressors killing more than one hundred and thirty (130) on the spot. The fighting continued into Kola which is now fully under SPLA-IO control.” He continued.
In retaliation, Gatjiath said, a force led by the overall commander of Section One Special Division, Lt. Gen. Johnson Olony, defeated the enemy and capture their weapons.
“In addition, the SPLA-IO captured three (3) tanks, two (2) land cruisers mounted with 12.7 mm AA machine guns, twenty four (24) Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG-7) launchers, thirty (30) PKM and over three hundred and thirty AK-47 rifles in good condition. Furthermore, a large depot of ammunitions and landmines was seized. One (1) Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) – Wolit- was also destroyed.” According to Gatjiath Deng.
Gatjiath believes that many Mathiang Anyoor have abandoned their positions and weapons in Upper Nile after their recruiter and former Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Paul Malong Awan, was forcefully removed and forced to rebel for 5 days.
“The rest of the defeated, hungry and demoralized regime’s soldiers fled in disarray towards Weda Kona. Actually fighting has intensified in many parts of eastern and western banks of Upper Nile State (UNS).” Continued.
The SPLA-IO forces claimed to have been rejuvenated by the recent visit of their Deputy Chief of Staff for Operation, Lt. Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam.
Lt. Gen. Duop, a fierce fighter who was reportedly trapped in Juba after the July 2016 incident, and was appointed as a Minister of labor, public service and human resource development resumed his operation recently.
Lt. Gen. Duop congratulates his forces after arriving in Kola yesterday and warns that this time “action will be louder than words.”
According to Gen. Duop, their forces will continue to arm themselves by capturing more supplies from the heavily armed government troops.
“The SPLA-IO will continue to arm its forces from the regime’s army as president Kiir will continue to bring our military supply through the main door but still the SPLA-IO will continue take them through the window.” Lt. Gen. Duop said.
Hon. Duop calls on civilians in Upper Nile to report to closest UNMISS camp or distance themselves from military fronts for their own safety and precaution.
According to SPLA-IO spokesman, Brig. Gen. William Gatjiath, the SPLA-IO will continue to act in self-defense when provoked.
“The SPLA-IO would like to remind the world that it will continue to act in self-defence if and when aggressed” Gatjiath said.
The rebels calls on IGAD, AU and the international community to resuscitate the Agreement of Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan(ARCISS) and allow their Chairman and Commander in Chief to return home to be part of peace and reconciliation efforts.
“as we hope to see a positive outcome from the efforts of the region, the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN) and indeed the international community to resuscitate the ARCISS, and to free our Chainman and Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C), Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon from the unnecessary confinement and detention in South Africa.” Gatjiath Said.
“As the world turns its attention to the resuscitation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS), the brutal regime is desperately working very hard in undermining these efforts politically and militarily.” He continued.
The regional bloc, IGAD, will hold a summit on South Sudan Conflict tomorrow, however, president Salva Kiir, who was invited to attend the meeting has declined to attend and instead has sent a 13-member delegation.
“Politically, the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) regime has blocked General Salva Kiir Mayerdit from attending the Extraordinary IGAD Summit and is instead delegating General Taban Deng Gai who can not make any decision on the resuscitation of the Agreement.” Gatjiath reiterates.
At the time of this writing, South Sudan government was yet to response to deteriorating security situation in Northern Upper Nile.