SPLA soldiers on the battlefield in South Sudan (Photo: Julius Dada/ChimpReports)
South Sudan rebels loyal to Dr Riek Machar have accused government-backed forces of repeated bombardments, threatening a full scale war, Chimp Corps exclusively report.
SPLA-IO Spokesperson Col. William Gatjiath Deng says militants commanded by Mathiang Anyor, a close ally of government, raided rebel positions in and around Yuai, Ayod, Kuek, Marmour, Mayiandit and Kola.
Mathiang’s militants are based in Upper Nile and Jonglei State.
They have openly pronounced support of President Salva Kiir’s government and vowed to take on Machar’s fighters.
“Indeed, throughout Saturday March 11, 2017 and Sunday March 12, 2017 Mathiang Anyor government forces moved out of their barracks and attacked SPLA-IO positions and bases,” said Col Deng.
He said in response, the “gallant SPLA-IO engaged and repulsed the Mathiang Anyor government forces in both fronts.”
SPLA-IG spokesperson Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang has since denied the accusations, saying government forces and allies were provoked by the rebels.
Koang said government troops had to respond firmly in self-defence.
The fighting is escalating at a time the country is facing acute famine, with millions facing death.
In South Sudan, where a famine was recently declared, more than 7.5 million people are in need of assistance, including some 3.4 million displaced.
The figure rose by 1.4 million since last year.
“The famine in the country is man-made. Parties to the conflict are parties to the famine – as are those not intervening to make the violence stop,” stressed UN official Mr. O’Brien last week.
President Salva Kiir has since admitted making mistakes since the war broke out in December 2013, saying the country needs peace to realise prosperity.
By Monday night, fighting was still raging.
The rebels said they destroyed one tank, two military vehicles mounted with 14.5 and many other light machine guns.
ChimpReports could not independently verify these claims as rebels usually exaggerate such figures.
, #Riek Machar
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