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Sudan Tribune

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South Sudan rival factions on high alert for military confrontation

September 26, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudanese rival forces have issued separate statements warning that their forces are on high alert following indications in which each side appears to be preparing for an attack.

The SPLA-IO forces during their arrival at Masana Biira in Wau on 07, August 2017 (ST)
The SPLA-IO forces during their arrival at Masana Biira in Wau on 07, August 2017 (ST)
A statement from the spokesman of the pro-government faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by the First Vice President Taban Deng Gai said that the situation in Pagak, former rebel headquarters, was being monitored with the maximum attention.

“At the present time, the SPLA-IO troops are on high alert, monitoring the situation in the area of Pagak. Rebels, who deserted the border town in July, are reported to be on move back from Maiwut and Turuw to attack our defensive lines in Pagak,” said a statement released by Col. Dickson Gatluak Jock on Tuesday.

He said the “armed youths” are building up in big number to launch multiple attacks on their forces in Pagak, in Greater Rubkona and Guit in Bentiu where the security situation is already being destabilized by opposition forces loyal to the former First VicePresident Riek Machar.

In a separate statement, Gen. Agany Abdel Agany Ayii said his force was ready to confront any attempt by the government forces, urging on all other rebel factions to coordinate efforts and actions.

Jock further said that the SPLA-IO forces led by Taban Deng Gai will continue to act in self-defence till the peace is achieved”.

He, also, claimed that a task force of 450 from Agwelwek Joined SPLA-IO after Abroc’s capture from the anti-peace elements. These forces he further says, were now at Kodok as part of forces under Gai. Governor of Fashoda state, Gen.Thieb Ajak had received them.

“This has raised the number of Agwelek forces to 476 in Kodok, and this significance step demonstrates the willingness of SPLM/A-IO under Gen.Taban Deng Gai towards the implementation of the compromise peace agreement on this turbulence period when the nation is working hard in search of sustainable and lasting peace,” he said.

“SPLM/A-IO as the movement has a duty and responsibility to bring back all military officers and cadres who left the country due to the direct armed conflict for the last 3 years,” it adds.

The military spokesman urged those who took up arms against the government to return and join peace process to iron out our own differences amicably.

“This suffering is a human-made disaster that needs to be controlled by ourselves and recommend their coming as a good significant step for the nation to rejoice for the return of peace and stability. This will not only be boosting the morale of forces but also bring the ethnic balancing within the army of SPLA-IO and indeed the entire army of South Sudan”.