S. Sudan: Gov’t Forces, Machar Rebels Clash in Northern Liech State

Government troops and opposition forces loyal to rebel leader Rieck Machar clashed on Monday in Kuergeng County of Northern Liech State, despite a ceasefire agreement signed between the warring parties in Khartoum and on-going peace talks.

Both parties have accused the other of starting the attack.

In a public statement on Monday afternoon, Major General Lul Ruai Koang, army spokesman said IO forces attacked government troops on Monday morning.

“The SPLA would like to inform the region that heavy fighting is underway at Bil village (Mabil) in Kuer Geng County, in Northern Liech State. IO fighters loyal to Dr. Machar coming from Wei- Muon Islands attacked SPLA’s defensive trenches at Bil village at about 10:55PM today.”

Prior to this statement, Ruai released a statement on Monday morning warning of a “looming clashes”. He stated that forces loyal to Riek Machar were “at advanced stages of launching attacks on our defence trenches at Mabil Village.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj today (Monday), Ruai said he was still collecting information on the casualties and will provide updates as soon as they are available.

But SPLA-IO spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel confirmed the clashes saying they were attacked by government forces.

“Yesterday, the government forces attacked our forces in Bil, they came from Kuergeng. They have been preparing to attack us. The conflict ended but I don’t know any details. They had taken over Bil but we retook it back,” he said.

Paul added that clashes erupted on Tuesday morning in Kajo-Keji county of Yei River state.

“This morning about 8 Am the government forces attacked our forces at Agana and attacked our brigade headquarters in Kindiri of Kajo-Keji County. Until around 11 fighting was still ongoing. They came and attacked us,” Paul added.

Koch Madut