January 22, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudanese rebels claimed they killed six government soldiers during a road ambush, which occurred along Magwi-Pajok road Sunday.
The rebel-appointed governor of Imatong state, Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, claimed militias loyal to South Sudan president, Salva Kiir attacked civilian hideouts in the area.
At dawn on Sunday at around 10:43 am, forces loyal to President Salva Kiir accompanied by local militias in Magwi county fell into a laid ambush, explained Oyet.
He further claimed pro-government forces and its allied militias went and burnt villages in Licari, a neighborhood suspected to be harbouring armed opposition faction forces.
Government troops were repulsed with heavy causalities, including military weapons, he further told Sudan Tribune.
Oyet, however, accused the pro-government forces of allegedly planning genocide against the area population.
In recent weeks, multiples residents claimed, government forces have unlawfully detained civilians believed to be supporters of the armed opposition and allegedly demand ransom of 200,000 South Sudan Pounds (SSP) for each detainee.
Should one fail to pay the ransom demanded, government soldiers allegedly demand for goats, cows as well as chicken in compensation for release of civilians detained.
“This is a policy of exploitation and making the community poor by looting their resources by themselves,” said Oyet.
Since July last year, fighting has escalated in South Sudan’s Equatoria region between pro-government and the armed opposition forces, amidst reports of gross human rights violations in form of rape and abductions of civilians.