February 26, 2017 (PAGAK) - South Sudan rebels have accused government forces of allegedly looting and burning down villages of civilians around Yuai, a former stronghold of the armed opposition (SPLA-IO) forces.
Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang, SPLA spokesperson, is seen at a containment site outside of the capital Juba on April 14, 2016. (AFP Photo)
Col. William Gatjiath Deng says pro-government forces launched another attack on the position held by the SPLA-IO on Saturday morning.
“In response to this aggression, the gallant SPLA-IO forces under the command of Lt General Wang Chiok Koryom of SPLA-IO Sector Three (3) engaged the Juba regime soldiers just as they were leaving Yuai and pursued them towards Wariwar to the west Yuai,” he said in a statement.
It added, “At the time of this press, the gallant SPLA-IO forces have so far counted some fifty-three (53) bodies of dead and rotting Juba regime soldiers, including members of the Sudanese rebels, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and SPLM-North (SPLM-N)”.
He said, two militarily land cruisers mounted with BM12 and 14, each four barrels and a good number of light machine guns were seized in "good conditions".
“It should be recalled that the Juba regime is still trying its best in provoking a regional war. While the Juba regime has succeeded in luring Egyptian air force into bombing SPLA-IO positions in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile States, the same regime is asking Ethiopia to counter Egyptian influence in South Sudan,” stressed Col. Deng.
However, the spokesperson for South Sudan army, Brig. Gen Lual Ruai Koang was not immediately available to react to the armed opposition’s claims.
An estimated 3.5 million people have been displaced by conflict in the country and 5 million are in urgent need of food due to conflict and economic instability, aid agencies said early last week.