Fighting resumes on west bank of Upper Nile

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UPPER NILE (27 Jan.)

Fighting broke out again today morning on west bank areas of Upper Nile between government troops and SPLA-IO fighters allied to former vice president Riek Machar, a rebel spokesman said.

Col. William Gatjiath Deng, military spokesman of the SPLA-IO, told Radio Tamazuj today that the government forces shelled their areas in Owach on the west bank of the Nile, prompting their forces to fight back.

He pointed out that the clashes between the two sides erupted in Lelo, Warjuok and Detang areas since morning and that the clashes were still continuing.

“The fighting started since morning in Lelo and Warjuok and the fighting is still ongoing in Warjuok, Lelo and Detang, the fighting is continuing up to now,” said Gatjiath.

“Those areas are controlled by the government, but they went out and shelled our areas since the last two days, and today they shelled our forces in the morning, we are not far from their area,” he added.

For his part, Col. Santo Domic, deputy spokesman of the SPLA in Juba, denied knowledge of any clashes between their forces and SPLA-IO rebels on the west bank today morning.

Meanwhile, citizens inside the UN base in Malakal town said they are hearing the sounds of gunfire from the west bank areas.

”We are hearing the sounds of gunshots from the west bank in Detang and Lelo, but we don’t have more details, the fighting is still continuing, some bullets from the west bank fell near us here, “said one of displaced people.

On Wednesday morning, the two warring forces clashed in an area between Wau Shilluk and Owach area.

File photo: SPLA soldiers in Upper Nile (Radio Tamazuj)

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