JUBA — South Sudan’s main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny has said that renegade General Simon Gatwech Dual’s forces have declared war on their forces in Upper Nile state.
This comes after renewed clashes in Magenis between rival SPLA-IO factions resulted in the killing of at least 50 soldiers from both sides.
General Gatwech’s group has also claimed that five senior opposition commanders allied to Machar were shot dead during the clashes on Monday.
In a statement, Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel, the SPLA-IO spokesman allied to Machar said the SPLA-IO Kitgwang faction has declared war against their forces has he accused the group of launching attacks on their bases.
“In the morning hours of 27/12/2021, the defected forces of Kitgwang launched an aggressive attacks against the SPLA-IO base of Amut. The SPLA-IO forces withdrew tactically to minimise casualties,” he said.
“This continues violence against the SPLA-IO is a clear declaration of war against the people’s movement during the time when every suffering South Sudanese wants peace,” he added.
He called on “the South Sudanese citizens to remain calm as this aggression will not derail the ongoing implementation of the Security arrangement in particular and the R-ARCSS in general.”
“The SPLA-IO remains committed to the Implementation of the Transitional Security Arrangement but reserves the right to self-defence when aggressed.”