Heavy fighting erupted between the government forces and the SPLA-IO fighters allied to former first vice president Riek Machar along the Lainya-Wonduruba road in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria State on Thursday morning, a spokesman of the armed opposition group said.
Kenyi Bennett, military spokesman of the SPLA-IO forces in Central Equatoria, told Radio Tamazuj that clashes erupted along the Lainya-Wonduruba road when the government forces tried to move in the two areas. Bennett revealed that local residents fled from the two areas during fighting.
He said yesterday, “the fighting started around 9:00 am, and our people fought for almost three hours. So it was a heavy fighting, there was a fight that erupted also near Katigiri”.
However, the rebel official did not give further details about the incident. Kenyi threatened that they will never stop their attacks unless the signed peace deal is implemented fully by President Salva Kiir, while demanding reinstatement of ousted opposition leader Riek Machar.
“The peace agreement is already dead,” said Kenyi. “I don’t see any peace in our areas in Equatoria now, if Riek Machar is not reinstated, then there will not be stability,” he added.
For his part, Brig. Lul Ruai Koang, spokesman of the government forces, denied knowledge about any fighting with Machar’s troops in the Central Equatoria region.
“The SPLA-IO are not present in Lainya, the remnants that fled from Juba here have crossed to Congo, those who are causing insecurity on the roads are the bandits and criminals that used to robe people before,” he explained.
This article was provided courtesy of Radio Tamazuj, a daily news service and current affairs broadcaster covering South Sudan, the southern states of Sudan, and the borderlands between the two countries.