Updated at 4:25Pm, July 22, 2014(Pacific Time).
July 22, 2014 (Nyamilepedia) — Fighting erupted Tuesday morning in Ayod county in Jonglei State, between forces loyal to the Government of South Sudan and the forces loyal to Dr Riek Machar Teny, the former vice president.
The whole of Tuesday, Nyamilepedia Editorial Team has been contacting both rivals’ parties on who is in control of the town but there was no response from both the Government side and the Sudan People Liberation Movement in Opposition. According to Social Media reports, from different sources, the intense fighting is still ongoing, and the number of casualties are inconclusive.
In other reports, Brig. Lul Ruai Koang, the military spokesperson for the opposition, believes that the fighting in Ayod started when the government forces attacked their positions at Kwei and Paloy, after which their forces pursued the attacking forces up to Ayod.
“The government forces in the last two days have been shelling our positions at Kwei and Paloy. After shelling was halted, they made an advance on our positions and we fought them back and today we drove them back up to Ayod,” Lul said.
Government sources blame the rebels for the attack. The State Information Minister, Judi Jonglei Boyoris, blames the opposition for breaking the ceasefire agreement. Boyoris, however, was unable to provide details on casualties but he believes that the government has successfully repulsed the rebels.
A 23 January ceasefire deal, recommitted to by the country’s main rival leaders, in May, has failed to curb the ongoing violence. The allied government forces overran Ayod town on April 27, in violation of January 23rd Ceasefire Agreement. The government has ransacked the main facilities, burned down tukuls and displaced the local population, however, possible encroachment on the neighboring counties and payams has been allegedly contained.
The former Jonglei state minister of law enforcement and the current military governor of Jonglei state for the opposition, Gabriel Doup Lam, the Ayod commissioner, Brig. Gen. Mawich Makuach, and their forces have reportedly blocked the four main exits from Ayod town.
The law makers from Ayod defected the government in December following a targeted killing of Nuer civilians in Juba by the presidential guards. Their counterpart, a member of parliament, who represented Ayod in the national government was among the first victims in Juba.
Sources from Ayod repeort that the loyal forces have made attempts to abandon the town through Palieth forests, to the North of Ayod. However, the rout leads into a white army dominated territories. Sources from Urror county have reported receiving surrendering forces, most are believed to be sons of the neighboring Duk county. Duk and its neighboring counties are under rebel control.
Other loyal forces from Bahr el Ghazal region have evacuated the town in large number last month. Reports from Lake states confirm their arrival, however, it is believed they were not welcomed. Sources from Lake state reiterate that the over 300 returnees were to be subjected to military disciplinary actions for setting wrong precedent.
The South Sudanese government, backed by the Sudan rebels and the Ugandan government has brutally engaged the South Sudan’s armed opposition, the SPLA under Dr. Riek Machar, in an armed struggle since political tensions turned violent in mid-December last year 2014.
The 7 months old conflict has displaced 1.5 million population and leave tens of thousands dead. Regionally brokered peace deal has achieved very little so far. The mediators and the warring parties representatives exchange accusations on lack of commitment and progress.
IGAD and US condemn violent.
US state department is urging the warring factions to immediately cease hostilities and adhere to the ceasefire protocols.
“We call on both parties to immediately end all such attacks and fully adhere to their May 9 and June 10 commitments to cease hostilities and begin the disengagement of forces,” U.S. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.
Following the traded accusations on Nasir attacks, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn warns that the region will impose punitive actions to protect civilians.
Desalgn believes that protecting civilians through punitive actions include fighting on their behave. The prime minister sends warning to the warring parties to fight them[IGAD] instead of fighting the people.