March 08, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– A series of fresh fighting between the opposing troops of SPLA near the town of Nasir today has left more than 10 soldiers dead and many others in critical conditions.
According to reports from Ketbeek, a small town near Nasir where fighting began, these new clashes were triggered by a new defection from the government side.
Speaking from SPLM/SPLA-IO Sobat’s headquarters in Mandeng, Kech Nguoth Tiem, the
Secretary of Information, Documentation & Orientation confirmed to Nyamilepedia that a number of forces who have been loyal to Salva Kiir leadership switched allegiance yesterday and surrendered to SPLA in Opposition in Nyatot military barrack.
Upon their arrival, the defectors were received and welcomed by the opposition, however, a few hours later a bigger troop started emerging from the direction of Nasir.
According to Hon. Kech, these were government troops coming for their men without prior notice.
“After the group arrived and received by the IO emergency joint patrolling team stationed in Ketbeek ,then government followed and demanded to take back those who surrendered,but the move was rejected by the forces of SPLA IO .” Kech said
Feeling threatened, the SPLA-IO forces took their position and refused to hand over the defectors from the government side, leading to hours of battles before the attacking troops retreated.
“SPLA IO patrolling team who received the defectors refused to hand over the group to government and then government of Kiir start to open fire on the SPLA IO forces in Ketbeek Station.Fighting erupted and the government force were chased and repulsed back to their base in wechyaradiw.” Kech explained.
Kech explained that upon their arrival in Nasir, SPLA-Juba reportedly refused to accept defeat and continued shelling the SPLA-IO positions near Nasir in Pandanyang, Nordeang, Dhoreding and Ketkeak, which led to further retaliations today.
Reports from Ketbeek reiterates that at least 36 died on both sides with majority on the government size, a report confirmed by government media outlets.
“35 including captain confirmed dead on the side of the attackers/government forces.
on our side one confirmed dead ,another one in critical condition while six others sustain light shot and they are currently undertaking treatment at the hospital in the headquarter.” According to SPLM-IO Sobat secretary of information.
According to military sources of the opposition, this is not the first time for the government troops to defect from Nasir.
Like other defectors, the recent group revealed many issues and blamed horrible conditions, confinement and lack of food in Nasir for their defections.
The defecting troops accused their former officers of corruption and other malpractices including the selling of their supplies from Juba at higher prices for the commanders to make extra income.
Some of the defectors, who have been in Nasir for the last year, and hardly been outside their cantonment areas to witness high inflation and depreciation quote high prices, particularly the sale of tobacco at around 200 South Sudanese pound when they believe should be SSP 10, as one of the main reasons behind their defection.
Apart from the delay of their salaries, the defectors believes that their salaries cannot sustain their deteriorating lifestyles in the military barracks saying that one pack of tobacco alone costs almost a quarter of his salary.