Maiwut/Addis Ababa, May 5, 2018 (SSNA) — South Sudan’s government and rebel forces have clashed on Saturday morning after Juba-backed troops launched coordinated attacks on rebel-held positions, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) said.
The armed opposition military spokesman Brig. Gen. William Gatjiath said in a statement obtained by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) that government forces launched surprise attacks on their outposts in Pinythor, Turul, and Nguankei Saturday morning in what he described as “government anti-peace policy.”
“At around 5:45 am this morning, and in an act of self-defence, the gallant and brave SPLA (IO) forces responded to the Juba regime attack on its positions in Turow, Nguankei, and Pinythoor,” William Gatjiath said in the text.
The armed opposition spokesman said SPLA-IO forces have delivered a “humiliating defeat” on government forces and that rebel troops now control 95% of Pagak town.
“As a result, we pursued the Juba regime aggression into Pagak, 95 percent of which is now under our full and complete control, including Jokow Bridge in the south, Way Station in the West, Nguankei in the East and Pinythoor in the north,” he explained.
Rebels said they have killed at least 54 government forces, confined Juba-backed troops in a Pagak military garrison, and warned of further unspecified consequences.
Brig Gen. William also stated that rebel forces have repulsed government attacks in Ayod and Mayom and that the SPLA-IO killed 27 government soldiers in Mayom fighting. He added that Juba’s troops shelled a civilian area around Ayod’s Waai airstrip, killed one girl, and wounded a boy and a girl.