Civilians evacuated from Wadakona after clashes: official

WADAKONA (2 Feb.)

Civilians in Wadakona area which lies on the west bank of Upper Nile have been relocated to Renk town after heavy fighting erupted between government troops and opposition fighters in the area from Monday until yesterday afternoon, a government official said.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj today, Nyawela Lajok, Executive Director of Manyo County, claimed that the SPLA-IO rebels came from Kuek and attacked their positions in Wadakona area but they were repulsed, forcing them to move local residents to Renk.

“As county authorities, we have relocated the citizens to Renk, all the civilians have gone to Renk, they will come back when the security situation returns to normal, so those who remained are soldiers and their wives,” said Nyawela.

“The number of the civilians has not been assessed, but the number could be more than 2,000. All the civil servants, and those who were working at the market, and the normal citizens have been transported to Renk. We started the relocation since the fighting erupted on 30 January,” he added.

For his part, Col. William Gatjiath Deng, Military Spokesman of the SPLA-IO faction allied to Riek Machar, denied claims that their forces attacked Wadakona area.

He instead accused the government forces of attacking their positions in Mustagbal and Abu Shar areas yesterday. “Our forces didn’t not go to Wadakona. We were fighting in Abu Shar and Mustagbal, we were fighting against the government forces in Mustagbal and Abu Shar, we have not entered Wadakona,”said Gatjiath.

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