May 5th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan rebel forces loyal to the country’s former First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, say they are in control of ninety five percent of Pagak town – its previous headquarters – after fighting with government troops.
According to Brig. Gen. William Gatjiath, the spokesman of SPLA-IO, the rebel forces were provoked by an attack on their positions around Pagak and when they returned fire, they claimed to have repulsed the government offensives and pursued the aggressors up to Pagak town center where the fighting continued at the time of this writing.
The rebels’ spokesman said their forces took control of areas around Pagak although they responded in what he calls a “self-defense”
In a statement issued by the SPLM/A (IO) military spokesperson, Brig. Gen. William Gatjiath Deng, the group said their forces have taken control of the most contested Jokow Bridge, Turow, Nguankei and Pinythoor.
“As a result, we pursued the Juba regime aggression into Pagak, 95 percent of which is now under our full and complete control, including Jokow Bridge in the south, Way Station in the West, Nguankei in the East and Pinythoor in the north.” Brig Gen. William Gatjiath Deng said.
Gatjiath reports that their forces killed at least 54 government soldiers without mentioning casualties on their side.
“With more than 54 of them killed, the Juba regime forces are now being confined in Pagak military garrison, as the gallant SPLA (IO) forces continue pursuing them,” he said pointing out that the fighting is still taking place.” Brig. Gen. Gatjiath continued.
Fighting in Ayod and Mayom
The group’s spokesman said in the same statement that fighting has been going on this morning in Ayod and Mayom counties of former Jonglei and Unity, respectively.
“Equally this morning in Ayod, the gallant SPLA (IO) forces under the command of Cdr Major General Diang Deng were repulsed an attempted attack by the Juba regime forces to advance outside the town and directed their expedition towards Gaap and Waai and also to Korwai and Jaakyom outside the town,” the statement read in part pointing out that the government has been also shelling areas with only civilian population killing one girl,and injuring two others.
“At 9:00am this morning in Mayom, the same Juba regime forces moved out of Mawiij west of Waak and attacked SPLA (IO) positions in the area. Forces under Cdr. Major General Tito Biel Wieh responded more excessively to the regime’s forces and ensued, the gallant SPLA (IO) forces killed 27 Juba regime soldiers on spot, and the remaining disintegrated in disarray.” the statement added.
Attempts to reach the SPLA-IG military spokesman to response to the latest reports of fighting were not returned at the time of this writing.
The two major warring factions of SPLA, loyal to Mr. Kiir and Machar, have been in constant combats for the last four years; however, fighting has escalated and intensified within the last four months as government forces attempt to take control of all rebels strongholds.