April 18th, 2018(Nyamilepedia) — In what could be a major set back to resumption of oil production in Unity State, South Sudan’s main armed Opposition, the SPLM/A(IO), claims capturing more government strongholds this morning in Koch County and Kuergeng of Guit County.
Multiple sources in the capital Bentiu confirmed influx of government soldiers and wounded veterans in the last two days confirming that the rebels have captured their strongholds of Nhialdiu, Buaw and Tharkaan on Monday while the rebels claim they have captured Koch and Kuergeng today.
“Our Forces captured Kuergeng of Guit this morning. Koch is also captured this morning” Said Brig. Gen. Tor Tungwar, the SPLM/A(IO) governor of Unity State.
According to SPLA(IO) deputy military spokesman, Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, the rebels responded to government aggression in what they described as a “self-defesne” after being attacked, a report his counterpart denies in the national capital, Juba.
“We capture Nhialdiu this morning, as well as Buaw and Tharkaan. we were forced to do so because the government has been trying to capture our areas for the last one week. we were acting in self defense” Lam told the Nyamilepedia.
Responding in Juba, Brig. Lul Ruai Kong, a former rebels’ spokesman, claim that government troops have killed the commending officer of the SPLA(IO) forces and repulsed their “unsuccessful attack”.
“The Commanding Officer for SPLA IO rebels and seven others died today at 4:00AM following unsuccessful attack on SPLA’s defensive trenches at Nhialdiu, HQS of a County with same name in Northern Liech State.” Brig. Gen. Lul said.
Brig. Lul, however, could not provide the identity of the commanding officer or the equipment that were captured by their forces.
“More information on his identity as well as rebels’ equipment captured will be provided later.” Brig. Lul added.
On the other hand, the rebels threaten to recapture oil fields in Unity State claiming that a Chinese company is planning to help Salva Kiir’s government resume oil production in Unity State.
Guit County is the hometown of the First Vice President, Gen. Taban Deng Gai, who replaced Dr. Machar in the Transitional Government of National Unity two years ago.
Both Guit and Koch County have been contested by Machar and Taban’s loyalists since 2016 with rival forces living less than 4 hours walking distance apart.