June 12, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —– Following 3 hours of heavy fighting in the strategic town of Kuek yesterday on Sunday, June 11th, reports from South Sudan rebels, the SPLA in Opposition, claim that they have inflicted heavy losses on the SPLA faction loyal to president Salva Kiir, a report Juba denies!
“SPLA-IO has retaken Kuek Yesterday Sunday June 11, 2017, following their attack on our positions at Kola on June 09, 2017, the Juba‘s regime soldiers again attacked our SPLA-IO positions west of Kuek.” Said Brigadier General William Gatjiath Deng, the spokesperson of SPLA-IO.
According to Brig. Gen. Gatjiath their troops were forced to recapture Kuek after an attack on their positions by government troops.
“In response to these attacks, the gallant SPLA-IO forces of Sector One under the overall command of Lt. General Johnson Olony pursued the aggressors to the heart of Kuek, hence capturing and taking full control of the town itself.” Gatjiath continued.
Brigadier Gatjiath reports that their forces killed 134 soldiers, captured 3 tanks, 3 military land cruisers, 15 RPGs, 50 PKM, over 200 AK-47 and a radio device.
“In the intense fighting that lasted for nearly three hours, the gallant SPLA-IO forces killed more than one-hundred and thirty four (134) regime’s soldiers and captured many more, along with three (3) tanks, two (2) T-55, one (1) T-72, three (3) military land cruisers mounted with 12.7 AA heavy machine guns, 15 RPGs, fifty (50) PKM, one (1) 82mm, two hundred (200) AK-47 and one (1) radio device, all in very good condition.”Gatjiath said.
Gatjiath believes that many Mathiang Anyoor drown in Kuek river including their head command, Col. Gatjiath Chung.
“The rest of the defeated regime’s soldiers fled in disarray towards Mastakbel, Abushar and Weda Kona, hundreds of them pushed to the river Nile, and some got drown in the Kuek Tributary (river) including their commander Col. Gatjiath Chung.” Said the rebels’ spokesman, Brig. Gen. Gatjiath Deng.
Responding to these reports from Juba on Sunday, South Sudan army spokesman, Col. Santo Domic Chol, who replaces Brig. Lul Ruai Kong, denies any confrontation between their troops and rebels saying that they didn’t lose any weapons.
“All those reports in the social media are unfounded and baseless. The public should not rely on them. They are just part of propaganda by anti-peace elements. Our forces have not lost any weapons anywhere, let alone reports talking about losing tanks and other weapons,” Chol said on SSBC on Sunday.
Col Chol calls on government supporters to not be disturbed by rebels reports claiming that they are not true.
For the last 24 hours Kuek battle has dominated South Sudan social media as IO fighters begin to circulate their selfies and pictures of weapons they have captured in the battle.
The recapture of Kuek came a few hours ahead of Extraordinary Summit of IGAD, which is expected to address South Sudan conflict with hopes to reinvigorate the 2015 peace Agreement to end the war.
IGAD believes that the war may intensify during the rainy season as the rebels will try to recapture strategic towns and some of their strongholds that were captured by SPLA-IG earlier this year.
Although fighting has gone on for almost 4 years in Upper Nile region, Salva Kiir faction has maintained control of oil fields in Northern Upper Nile while Machar’s faction controls main routs leading to Sudan and Ethiopia.
The rebels have shut down oil fields in Unity State and exerted maximum pressure to shutdown the oil fields in Upper Nile.
South Sudan conflict began in the national capital, Juba, in December 2013 but despite efforts from the region and the international community, war has continued to escalate to many parts of the country.