Bentiu, South Sudan,
July 7,2021 — South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) under the former Chief of General Staff, Gen. Paul Malong, confirmed that its field commander was captured by government forces after an ambush in Unity State on Monday.
According to reliable sources from the field, the SSUF/A field commander in Unity State, who was identified as Lt. Col. James Cherey Geek, was been captured on Monday by government forces in Ruathlual village of Mayom County of Unity State where he went to visit his family but was later attack by government forces.
The statement revealed that on 5th of July 2021, Geek travelled with few soldiers from his base to Ruathlual to visit his family.
“Immediately he arrived at his house, Lt. Col. Geek was located and attacked by the government forces in a brief fight that lasted for 30 minutes. He was, however, outnumbered and captured along with his bodyguard” part of a statement reads.
After the news reached Gen. Paul Malong, SSUF/A responded by accusing the SSDPF forces of violating the Cessation of Hostilities.
“Over the last few days, SSUF/A has witnessed renewed aggression on our bases from the regime army in a brazen disregard to the Cessation of hostilities and ceasefire agreement — signed between SSOMA and government in January 2020 and the ongoing Rome peace initiative,” SSUF/A said in the statement, adding that such unprovoked attack by government forces(SSPDF) indicates their intransigency to respect the Cessation of Hostilities.
Meanwhile, the opposition group appealed to the peace guarantors , the region, and the international community to make sure that the captured commander and his bodyguard are safe.
Two days ago the two forces, SSPDF and SSUF/A, also clashed in Rongo of Western Equatoria State. In the Rongo battle, SSUF/A claimed victory but alleged to have tactically withdrawn citing their commitment to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in line with Agreement signed in Rome.
At the time of this writing, SSPDF spokesman could not be reached to give their side of story.