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S. Sudan admits launching offensives in rebel stronghold

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July 13, 2017 (JUBA)- South Sudan government admitted that its forces launched offensives to take control of Pagak, a stronghold of rebels loyal to former First Vice-President Riek Machar.

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SPLA soldiers sit at the back of a pick-up truck in Malakal, Upper Nile state January 12, 2014. (Photo Reuters/Andreea Campeanu)

The presidential adviser on military affairs, Daniel Awet Akot said Thursday that the move resulted from the rebels’ failure to observe the declared ceasefire.

“What can one do when the other side does not reciprocate the good gesture and the will to end the conflict? There are people who continue to advocate war. They have refused dialogue and refused to observe a ceasefire,” Akot told Sudan Tribune.

He added, “They [rebels] did not declare the ceasefire, instead what they are doing is attacking civilians and holding them hostage and using them as their bargaining card”.

Meanwhile, the information Michael Makuei Lueth said the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Kiir does not include Pagak area, a war-time opposition headquarters when the civil war began in 2013.

The minister equally justified the military offensives taken against the armed opposition fighters, saying rebels loyal to the exiled former First Vice-President had rejected the government’s offer of a ceasefire.

“The SPLA-IO [Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In-Opposition] movement led by Riek Machar does not recognise the peace agreement. It is saying the signed peace agreement is over, so they are not part of the peace agreement. The area of Paged has nothing to do with the ceasefire deal,” Lueth said on Thursday.

He, however, said the coalition government only recognises the armed opposition faction loyal to Machar’s successor, Taban Deng Gai, saying the latter recognises the existence of the August 2015 peace agreement.

“We don’t have any problem with the peace wing led by Taban Deng. The president had declared a unilateral ceasefire, but the rebels of Riek Machar failed to reciprocate the unilateral ceasefire and started attacking our positions, then we have the right to defend ourselves”, stressed the South Sudanese information minister.

About 5,000 civilians, the United Nations said, have been forced out of their homes in Pagak.

The head of the U.N mission in South Sudan said thousands of South Sudanese civilians are fleeing to neighbouring Ethiopia as government troops advance towards Pagak, expressing grave concern about the growing refugee crisis.

“At least 25 aid workers have been forced to relocate from Pagak and surrounding areas due to increased insecurity,” said Shearer.

Stressing there was no military solution to the South Sudan conflict, the senior U.N official called upon all the warring both factions to stop the fighting.

“It’s unacceptable that 250 innocent children, and the people who care for them, find themselves in no man’s land between the warring parties,” stressed Shearer.

The South Sudanese conflict started in mid-December 2013 when President Kiir accused Machar of a coup attempt. Since then, tens of thousands of people have died and over 2 million displaced.

(ST)

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  • 14 July 00:25, by junubi

    good move and very good news

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    • 14 July 03:57, by Freedom Fighter

      Denying hate group bases for organizing and launching attacks on civilians is crucial for any meaningful peace settlement in the country. Congratulations, SPLA

      Freedom Fighter

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    • 14 July 07:33, by Joyuma John

      who is controlling pagak now?

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    • 14 July 07:40, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      Celebration.

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      • 14 July 09:56, by Bunsen Burner

        Hahahaha, I wonder what guys are celebrating; your cattle looter - the Mathiang Anyor have been beaten badly, have abandoned their equipments deeply sunk in the muds and are already in disarray - for those that managed to survive. Pictures withheld!

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    • 14 July 09:56, by Midit Mitot

      Bullshit! government of confusion, you are always fooling the whole world with lie unilateral ceasefire, sorry, ceasefire without Pagak. Your fake deal is already known by the whole world.

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    • 14 July 23:17, by Mi diit

      Incompetent Kiir and his disciples must know that Pagak is a double red lines.
      Try different areas but not Pagak.
      Viva Dr Riek Machar Teny Dhur-gon!
      Long Live the struggle for justice!

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      • 14 July 23:20, by Mi diit

        I am currently in Pagak with Gen. Khor Chuol Giet Guong...ST must know that if they need reliable news from ground and not like that of Guanluom Aka Makuei Luething.

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      • 14 July 23:20, by Mi diit

        I am currently in Pagak with Gen. Khor Chuol Giet Guong...ST must know that if they need reliable news from ground and not like that of Guanluom Aka Makuei Luething.

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  • 14 July 00:44, by john locke

    They can try and come to gajaak land.. lets see how that ends.. non of their forces will comeback alive.. kior is sending them on a death mission.. The IO will finish them before they reach pagak.

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    • 14 July 01:31, by john akeen

      Salva Kiir, Taban Deng Gai and Dr. Wany Iga you must take care of those Ebolas because it is your job to do so, we don’t want week government that can be defeated by easily or by anyone

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  • 14 July 01:57, by lino

    I think the third phase of South Sudan Civil War has just started!!!
    We will see if the government will hold on all over the country. They can run Juba for centuries but not the whole country!!!
    It is overall civil war citizens. Buckle up.

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    • 14 July 05:55, by South South

      Lino,

      We want peace. Let Riek’s group declare ceasefire and accept Kiir’s call for National Dialogue to end this war. I am preaching for peace and the only way right now to have peace in SS is to join ND. Eastern, stop internet war. Let’s join hands and speak one voice to bring peace to our country. Pagak alone will not stop war

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      • 14 July 06:35, by Eastern

        South South,

        Focusing of Pagak is myopic. For SPLA-IO under Dr. Machar to fight Kiir he doesn’t need a specific village to be his outpost. SPLA-IO doesn’t have a munition and weapons factory in Pagak or indeed in any village. Soon kiir will have to reckon with a fast acting mobile forces. SPLA under Dr. Garang was routed out of his various HQs but that didn’t the war he was waging....

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      • 14 July 06:37, by Eastern

        I can see my indifference towards your tribal dialogue is alarming you. As an aggrieved South Sudanese, I have made known what my intention is: KIIR MUST GO!!

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        • 14 July 08:07, by South South

          Eastern,

          Stop talking about Pagak and stop comparing SPLA in 1990s with Riek’s OI. No single comparison between them. KIIR MUST GO!!! is a big joke. Only people who sit under computer 24/7 week can read that, but majority of South Sudanese will not waste their time for this irresponsible and useless call from loser like you.Don’t cry about Pagak, but cowards of Reik’s IO are taught dear lessons.

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  • 14 July 02:16, by Atemjak

    They are already in Pagak

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  • 14 July 02:38, by john locke

    I assure you that they are not in pagak.. 72 government soldiers where killed, the rest ran away.. kiirs forces cannot defeat the IO.. weve been fighting the government for 3-4 years. They still have yet to defeat us. Let them come if they want. It will be a river of blood

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  • 14 July 02:44, by Kush Natives

    Mr. Lueth,
    I strongly disagreed with that a little part of YOUR statement that Pagak isn’t part of the cease-fire that declared by the president last month. Is Pagak not a part of South Sudan?

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    • 14 July 03:24, by lino

      It is government confusion ya Kush!!! Did we understand now how Juba works?!!!

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    • 14 July 06:18, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

      It should not be a surprise that Juba does not care for the lives of South Sudanese. Its strategy is peace on their terms. That is the opponent must surrender the way Taban has done to his fellow Nuers after thousands of them were butchered in Juba and indeeed the whole country. Taban has faled the Nuer people and entire south sudanese freedom seekers.

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    • 14 July 07:18, by Sunday Junup

      Kush Native,
      For the first time your comment make sense. It will not take long for Makuey to come out again to condemn SPLA-IO. SPLAnyor are now on their run. Capturing Pagak can not make any change on rebellion since there is no weapons or ambitions even Dr.Riak office is not there. It was chosen for consultation purpose because it is at border to Ethiopia where peace talk were taking place.

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      • 14 July 08:29, by Kush Natives

        Sunday Junup,
        We MUST all be transparent at this conflict, whether you’re a rebel groups vs government supporters. I just didn’t adhere with Makuei’s statement, simply because of territorial integrity. If the government excluded Pagak from cease-fire or cessation of hostilities, then the national dialogue process is meaningless. I just don’t want to give rebels elements a chance to create an->>

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        • 14 July 08:38, by Kush Natives

          >>> atmosphere of creating something out of something. Coming to my point, Pagak is included in cease-fire and cessation of hostilities period. But, if the rebels elements based in Pagak doesn’t abide by the president last month cease-fire, then there shouldn’t be anything to do with Pagak as a South Sudan territory. I am done here! I am going back to my normal comment as usual.

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    • 14 July 11:05, by Midit Mitot

      Mr Kuch Native,
      Makuei Lueth is always contradicting himself, the guy has severe trauma for sure, Pagak is a part of South Sudan that should not be excluded in so call ceasefire.

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    • 14 July 11:33, by Midit Mitot

      Mr Kuch Native,
      Makuei Lueth is always contradicting himself, the guy has severe trauma for sure, Pagak is a part of South Sudan that should not be excluded in so call ceasefire.

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  • 14 July 05:46, by Newsudan

    SPLA is becoming more stronger nowadays. Riek io are panicking

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  • 14 July 06:08, by john locke

    The spla is weak.. how can the countries main army not defeat a rebel group ill-equipped. The government soldiers will never reach pagak.. we nuer will not let them make it. The ones who tried were killed before they reached pagak. The rest ran away

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  • 14 July 06:31, by Sunday Junup

    I thought you would ask IGAD and USA to released Dr.Riak if you are now ready for offensive. You have been telling lie to the rest of the whole world that you are persuaded peace instead of War but now is clear the choice is now on international community to releases Dr.Riak to defeate you or you continue your offensive on civilian

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  • 14 July 06:38, by Sunday Junup

    Dinka are very coward actually, how come you call for ceasefire and launch war at the same time? What I know is that you will call international community to condemn SPLA-IO soon after you realizes total defeats.

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    • 14 July 06:47, by Nairobimitot

      Folks, The SPLA is 15 miles from Pagak. They are just giving time to the civilian to leave the town so that they are not caught in the fighting. It will only take 6 hours of fighting, and the SPLA will manage to capture their motherland Pagak the Land which raised them and showed them how beautiful it is to have a country.

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      • 14 July 07:16, by Malakal county Simon

        Some one need to tells this laughing stock government, that’s there is no military solution to this senseless-war caused by illegitimate president Kiir to hang to power by force!!!! We in the SPLM_IO under Dr Machar, we made very cleared that the 2015 accord, is dead and need to be revive and not to be replace by bogus dialogue with no clear agendas unless we if we are not serious about peace....

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    • 14 July 08:45, by Kush Natives

      Sunday Junup,
      I warned you big boy! Drop this crazy intention towards Dinka people, this war has nothing to Dinka vs Nuer as a tribes, rather Riek Machar vs Salva Kiir. I urge you to digest your tribal intention please.

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  • 14 July 07:23, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    Who does not know the government in Juba wants peace in their terms so that they rule the country for life? The benefits they get by using the Gun to rule the country is so huge that they will use lies, misinformation to garner moral and material support to prosecute their war of supremacy in the country but people must be strong to thwart their onslaught against justice.

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  • 14 July 07:33, by john locke

    I can assure you that kiirs military is not 15 miles away from pagak.. they were chased away when they came into gajaak land. The men kiir hired to go to pagak are money lovers who later were killed by the io.. kiirs military led my gony bilieu was defeated and ran back to there trenches. We captured their weapons.

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  • 14 July 07:35, by john locke

    We the IO, we are fighting three different groups. Spla-ig, spla-taban amd the sudanese rebels hired by kiir and taban. Still we ,anage to defeat all 3. None of them will reach pagak. They can try, but they will not reach it.

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  • 14 July 07:42, by Lenin Bull

    Some NGUNDENG fanatics think that without Riek Machar, life is meaningless. They cannot eat food because Riek’s absence makes it tasteless, they cannot drink and enjoy bear, they cannot dance and enjoy any musics, they cannot above all play sex with their loved ones and be able enjoy it and reach orgasm. Be sensible guys and avoid being numbskull.

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  • 14 July 07:46, by john locke

    Lenin, this has nothing to do with riek, but everything to do with the fact that your leader kiir declared war on all nuer in 2013. He continues to kill us over fear that riek will take his power. With or without riek we will capture kiir and continue to fight this government. You are lucky that it is not gadet yaka leading the io. The dinka would be killed. From bhar ghazel to jonglei

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  • 14 July 08:42, by Mike Charlie MC

    Calm down! the gallant SPLA-IO forces of Division five (5)under Lionheart Cdr. Major general Khor Chuol Giet and GHQs battalions commands by the other Lionheart Cdr. Brigadier Daniel Gatbel Kuach.The two commanders are doing a good job to protect the helpless population against the barbaric killing championed by Juba.

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  • 14 July 08:55, by Lenin Bull

    IO guys in this forum, I doubt whether you really love the Nuer nation like I do and I’m sure 100% you are not soldiers and have never been IO soldier or former freedom fighters during the last 21 year war of liberation. Do you think that the only means for Nuer nation to get what it wants in life be it position of a national leader, economic development, military ranks, trade, etc

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  • 14 July 09:01, by Lenin Bull

    is only throw war and fighting ? Read or listen to this wise saying by Abraham Lincoln: " There are two types of men who desire war: those men who haven’t the slightest intention of fighting it themselves, and those men who haven’t the slightest idea what war is. Any man who has been to war and has seen the face of death knows better than to seek it out the second time."

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  • 14 July 09:06, by Lenin Bull

    Prior to 2013 and throughout the interim period President Salva Kiir always sang his song of not wanting and not willing to return his beloved people and country to war because it is nasty, bad, and destructive and those Riek followers like you IO fanatics took it for Jang cowardice. Where is the much talked about and often repeated Nuer bravery now? Only series of disasters have been foolishly

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  • 14 July 09:11, by Lenin Bull

    brought on innocent Nuer civilians. Many innocent and virgin young Nuer men have been driven into burning furnace for no good cause at all to go and die. This mad man called David de Chan and all of you IO idiots should stop misleading the Nuer nation. No tribal animosities in South Sudan but only political intrigues which you morons don’t understand.

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  • 14 July 09:17, by Lenin Bull

    If the Nuer nation was the most and only brave fighting nation in South Sudan, the war should have ended in December 2013. They should have fought and captured President Kiir in December 2013 and closed the chapter of Dinka power. You guys in IO are only pretending fighters in the internet and I don’t respect you.

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  • 14 July 09:18, by john locke

    So you are blaming us nuer for a war started by youre paranoid leader kiir? Who started this war in 2013 lenin, who? It was not the nuer. There was no coup. Kiir wanted to try and kill all nuer. Now we have the upper hand. Kiir is sendimg his own people to war who are dying, who are nt paid. The country is broke because of kiir. I wosh gadet yaka would take lead just to kill all of you jiangs

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  • 14 July 09:20, by john locke

    And about nuer bravery.. look at how we as a rebel group with no money are yet still fighting and defeating you. Yet you have all the money, all the military power. How are you still not able to defeat us. Because we are nuer fighters, we aren’t jiangs or equatorians

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  • 14 July 09:21, by Lenin Bull

    Let this satanic war designed by the top political elite( Riek, Kirr. Pagan, Nyandeng, Da, Agoot, etc included) stop so that all our people elect their leaders through ballot box not bullets. This is good for all tribes in South Sudan to elect leaders not fight to capture power by forces which invokes resistance, bitternes, destruction, and deaths.

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  • 14 July 09:23, by Lenin Bull

    Gieer Chuang once remarked that " war is not a party dance where all go and dance and come back home alive. Some people dont come back alive."

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  • 14 July 09:29, by john locke

    Go tell youre fellow joang leader kiir to step down. No election would ever be free and fair under him. Look at how he declared a cease fire, yet hes still trying to attack pagak. The same men he sent to attack pagak defected to the IO. Along with a police general and 103 people. 72 people were killed. This country will not be stable untill jiang are killed the same way they killed us

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  • 14 July 11:35, by Asunta

    Locke,
    Identifying yourself as Nuer nation or Nuer brave army is in itself a disqualification of being a movement pursuing a national agenda. Instead, the Nuer bravery ( ironically, mediocrity) is a disgrace to South Sudan and Africa at large! Stop proud being inhuman and uncivil.

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  • 14 July 13:03, by Mr President 2037

    Congratulations to the people Army (SPLA),

    The youth of this nation are very happy to hear the good news of Pagak under SPLA. Gen. Gony Beliu is doing a very good job. Comrade Gen. Awet is an excellent adviser on military issues. The SPLA/SPLM youths are celebrating everywhere.

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    • 14 July 13:26, by Michael

      By Southern Eye,
      What dialogue are they talking about? yet fighting is happening and civilian are dying of hunger, diseases and lack of shelters in the down part of the Country.You empty minded politician you better resigned and go to your own homes and leave the position to the people to bring their own leader they want.

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  • 14 July 14:19, by Mike Charlie MC

    Lenin Bull , Mr. president 2035,,, Others

    You Obtusely and gormlessly behaviors brought pea-brained presidentSalva Kir ,,, I don’t think that you can thank untrained genocidal soldierSPLA,IG,,, your nitwit JCE had lost of country resource for hiring foreign troops ,,, simple Say ,, you are IDIOT IN CAPITAL LETTER

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  • 14 July 14:30, by Lokamadi

    if you have a Dinka who is your neighbor, please acquire poison immediately, because they own the Arsenal of the country........with the poverty escalating within them, just get the little food you have and poison him straight away........they are curse to human course.

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  • 14 July 20:14, by john locke

    Asunta, you sound like a kiir sympathizer. You sound like the kind of person who denies the 2013 nuer massacre. The dinka could not fight the nuer without foreign troops. Uet we the nuer are fight 3 groups and still have yet to be defeated. We are fighting the spla-ig, spla-taban and the spla- north. Yet we still are fighting. The troops that kiir sent to pagak all defected all 103 of them. 72 kil

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