JUBA – Opposition forces belonging to rival Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) factions have clashed among themselves in Nasir County of South Sudan’s Upper Nile state, according to opposition factional spokesman Brig. Gen. William Gatjiath Deng.
Gatjiath who is allied to former SPLA-IO chief of staff Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual said forces allied to First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny’s SPLA-IO faction attacked their forces at Kier in Nasir country resulting in a 30-minute-long battle.
“The office of information for Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition SPLA (IO) under the leadership of Interim Chairman and Commander in Chief (C-in-C) 1st/Lt. Gen Simon Gatwech Dual, would like to inform the general public about the two consecutive attacks launched by the terroristic forces of the former rebel leader, Dr Riek Machar this morning, one was fought at “Kier” 25KM from Akobo town,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This attack left (4) dead, the enemy soldiers and they were repulse back to ‘Wanding Payam’ in less than 30 minutes, whereas other two soldiers from the defenders sustained minor injuries,” he added.
The opposition spokesman further claimed that SPLA-IO forces allied to Machar had also attempted to retake Magenis, but were repulsed by their forces.
“Moreover, another attack which took place today at Khorjalle,10KM from Magenis, didn’t take long as Dr Riek Machar’s forces felt the hottest lesson as (2) soldiers left behind their back after the freedom fighters responded,” he said.
“Therefore, the leadership calls the IGAD Plus, AU, UNMISS, parties to the agreement and the wider international Community to take note of constant attacks from Dr Riek forces because this behavior may for sure turns the country back to war, if care is not taken,” he added.
Gatjiath further said the opposition “SPLA (IO) forces shall remain vigilant and vowed to defend our territories once we are attacked.”
However, opposition-nominated Nasir County Commissioner Duol Kun Thian said there was only an incident in which unidentified gunmen attacked a boat carrying community elders, resulting in the killing of one person.
“Community chiefs from Wanga-Ading Payam were going to the Lire area to talk to Gen. Simon Gatwech’s forces who defected in September to vacate the area to avoid clashes because Riek Machar’s forces are also present in the area. On arrival before disembarking, they were ambushed in Lire, and one person was killed while four others sustained injuries,” Duol said.
“The incident took place on Wednesday at 12 PM. So, the injured are still there but we are planning to bring them to Nasir town so that they are treated. Those attackers went to an area called Kier after the incident,” he said.