JUBA/MAIWUT – A South Sudan government-allied militia group has captured the SPLM-IO base in Jekow of Maiwut state in Upper Nile region after they attacked them in violation of the peace agreement signed in 2018.
Brigadier General Paul Puok Kang, who is the spokesman of the militia group led by General Ochan Joak alleged that SPLM-IO forces attacked their position around 12 pm and pursued them in Jekou Garrison.
Last year, Major General James Ochan Puot, one of the SPLA-IO former top commanders defected from Riek Machar forces and joined President Salva Kiir’s government.
The spokesperson of Ochan’s forces, Gen. Kang spoke to Eye Radio on Monday.
“At around 4 pm, the IO forces attacked our position in a place called Nyoplew in Urieng, so after attacking us, we repulsed the attack and pursued them into Jekou Garrison,” said Gen. Kang.
Meanwhile, the SSPDF spokesperson, General Lul Ruai Koang told Eye Radio that he is not aware of any attack on the IO position in Jekou.
He said the government has no forces in Jekou.
“We do not have a presence in that area. The only place we have our forces is Nasir and Maiwut. Those are the only two places we have forces in Latjor and Maiwut state,” said the SSPDF spokesperson.
However, the group spokesperson said the SSPDF command in Pagak is aware of the clashes.
“You know, there was a team that came to Maiwut that integrated our forces into SSPDF, so we are already part of the government. We are in coordination with the authorities in Pagak, and they know what is happening,” said the pro-government group spokesperson.
For his part, the SPLM/SPLA IO Director for Information and Public Relations, Puok Both Baluang condemned the attack in a press statement.
He said the attack is a violation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.
Mr. Both also called on CTSAMVM and JMCC to immediately investigate this violation which he said poses a threat to the implementation of the peace agreement.