June 7th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s main armed opposition movement under the leadership of the country’s former first vice president Riek Machar says on Thursday that they have been attacked by troops loyal to the government of President Salva Kiir in Fashoda state in Northern Upper Nile days after the government accused the armed opposition of planning to attack its positions in Kaka.
In a statement released on Thursday, the SPLA-IO deputy spokesman, Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, said government troops in norther Upper Nile attacked their hide-out in Ardeb in Fashoda state resulting into the death of four soldiers from their side but said the attackers were repulsed after a quick reorganization.
“Yesterday, 06/06/2018 in the afternoon hours, the regime’s forces launched a surprise attack against the SPLA IO Sector 1 HQ in Ardeb – Fashoda State; killing four soldiers. They came from Dafa (Kaka) and Thorguang a distance of more than 1 hour’s drive which shows how prepared they were. However, the Agwelek reorganized quickly and repulsed the aggressors with a crushing defeat,” he said in the statement.
The spokesman said the attack, special when the region is organizing a meeting between their Chairman, Riek Machar and South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, indicates that the government of President Salva Kiir is against peace in the country.
“This continuous act of cowardice from the regime is happening while IGAD is organizing a face to face talks between Dr. Machar and Salva Kiir. It is therefore, a clear indication that the regime is against any chance of achieving peace in South Sudan,” he added.
He added that the government’s claim on Sunday that the SPLM-IO deputy chief of General Staffs for Operation was planning to attack Kaka, a government-held town in northern Upper Nile, was baseless meant to justify the government’s Ardeb attack which he said amount to violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement itself.
“It should be noted that the regime on Sunday 03/06/2018, made a hostile propaganda on social media against the SPLA IO DCoG for Operations (Lt. Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam) that he was leading a force to attack the regime’s position of Kaka. This was a baseless accusation meant to justify the attack in Ardeb and amounts to violations by itself,” the statement added.
The statement also urged the CTSAMM and UNMISS to urgently investigate the attacks he said were perpetuated by the government and bring the culprits to book saying the movement is ready to defense its positions against the government.