JUBA – Opposition forces belonging to the breakaway SPLA-IO Kitgwang faction under General Simon Gatwech Dual have allegedly retaken control of a military base belonging to them in Tonja of Upper Nile state that was captured by General Johnson Olony’s forces last month, residents say.
General Olony’s forces went out, one resident in Tonja said, of the military base they held for several weeks to hunt for Gen. Gatwech’s forces, but after several hours of fighting, the frontline collapsed into the military base followed by retreat of General Olony’s forces.
“They have been here for four weeks and yesterday, they went to look for General Simon Gatwech Dual’s forces in the forest and they fought for several hours and eventually they were defeated and they came into the military barrack where intense fighting renewed,” the resident who do not wish to be named said.
“After that, several troops on both sides were killed and there as a silence and then we saw General Johnson Olony’s forces retreating northward and today we saw the forces of General Gatwech Dual inside the base and there is no fighting,” the resident added.
Separately, a senior member of General Olony’s Agwelek told Sudans in Khartoum that their forces have tactically withdrawn from the village and it was a matter of time before they could return in order to retake the town from Gatwech’s forces.
“Yes our forces have moved out of the village and this is there in the military doctrine that when you are in a very bad standing in a battle over an area, you pull out tactically. This is what our forces have done exactly and it is a matter of time before we return to flash them out,” the official said.
When contacted by Sudans Post, the military spokesman of General Gatwech’s SPLA-IO Kitgwang faction Col. Alfred Gach Thot was unreachable as of the time of the publication of this report, but several other officials belonging to Gatwech confirmed the development in Tonja.