SPLA-IO General, Maj. Gen. Khor Chuol Giet, commanding rebel forces in Northern Upper Nile
July 17, 2017, A fierce fighting between South Sudan’s main warring parties, loyal to president Salva Kiir and his former deputy, which has displaced more than 100, 000 civilians in Northern Upper Nile within the last two weeks, has come to unexpected halt following a three-hour heavy fighting in Wichlualjak.
According to Maj Gen. Khor Chuol Giet, an overall commander of SPLA-IO’s 5th division, the government troops that was tasked to capture Maiwut is dismantled and wiped out.
The IO Commander, who preferred not to speak but to fight on, said his troops had an upper hand and were well organized to protect civilians’ lives and property.
At least five government reinforcements within the last two weeks have been repulsed, according to rebels’ sources.
Emphasizing their victory, the military spokesman of SPLA-IO, Brig. Gen. William Gatjiath Deng, stressed that Kiir’s forces were over powered and severely defeated while trying to advance to Maiwut.
“As a result this afternoon, the genocidal forces and the barbaric atrocities makers had gotten their fate and severely beaten after they were trying to advance toward Maiwut but repulsed, disintegrated and pursued to Wichluakjak where their military vehicles deeply sunken in to the muddy soil in Thocdeng, that means their mission to Maiwut and Pagak GHQs has completely failed.” Said Gen. William Gatjiath Deng.
Gatjiath calls on civilians not to panic. He assures that the rebels’ generals who protected Pagak, the main headquarters for the last 4 years, are still committed to protect civilians and their property.
“the gallant SPLA-IO forces of Division five (5) commander the Lionheart Cdr. Major general Khor Chuol Giet and GHQs battalions commands by the other Lionheart Cdr. Brigadier Daniel Gatbel Kuach.The two commanders are doing a good job to protect the helpless population against the barbaric killing championed by Juba.” He said.
Pagak has built a reputation for peace and has attracted over 50, 000 people from across Upper Nile region; however, for the last two weeks many civilians have started fleeing both Maiwut and Pagak.
According to South Sudan government spokesman, Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth, Juba has decided to launch offensives in Northern Upper Nile to dislodge Machar’s forces near the oil rich areas.
Although such offensives contradict president Kiir’s unilateral ceasefire and calls for a “national dialogue”, the vocal minister believes fighting is necessary to allow oil production.
“There are people saying the government is violating the ceasefire which has been declared. This is not true. We are not fighting the SPLM-IO. The SPLA forces are fighting anti-peace elements causing havoc posing threats to the oil producing areas. The government has the duty to protect the resources,” said Michael Makuei Lueth.
Despite many ceasefire agreements, fighting has continued in nearly all parts of the country between warring parties and also between ethnic communities.
In Jonglei state, cattle raids, killing of civilians and abduction of women and children has continued between the Dinka tribe and neighboring Murle community.
The recent attacks in Jonglei State targetted Jalle, a home village to Hon. Michael Makuei Lueth and other officials in Salva Kiir’s government. Despite numerous attacks in this area, Kiir’s government has done very little so far to end such attacks.