August 12, 2017, Since March 2017, General Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) regime in Juba have been trying and deploying more than six thousand (6000) soldiers mobilised and collected from across South Sudan to capture Pagak, protect the Palouch oil fields and lure dubious businesses into multi-million dollar oil investment agreements.
Convinced that the isolation and confinement in Pretoria, South Africa, of our wise, able, peaceful and visionary Chairman and Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the SPLM-SPLA Dr Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon had weakened the Movement, General Salva Kiir Mayardit and the JCE ethnocentric regime in Juba have so spent more than ten (10) million US dollars on recruiting and mobilising the logistics, manpower and some regional support needed for this failed anti-peace and destabilising operation.
In a tactical move against this aggressive Juba regime operation and indeed in our continuous and constant efforts to protect innocent and defenceless civilian population and to ensure safe, smooth and responsible civilian movements and evacuation efforts, we in the SPLM-SPLA (IO) withdrew from Maiwut and Pagak on Friday July 28 and Sunday August 06, 2017 respectively, lured the Juba regime aggression into Maiwut and Pagak, and then surrounded them from nearly all directions.
Indeed, as the Juba regime soldiers were being successfully lured into Pagak on Sunday August 06, 2017, those trapped in Maiwut were already being defeated, annihilated or/and forced to surrender or run for their dear lives in total humiliation. Following the recapture of Maiwut on Sunday August 06, 2017, the gallant and bravest SPLA (IO) forces of Special Division under Cdr Major General James Ochan Puot joined Division Five (D5) under Commander (Cdr) Major General James Khor Chuol Giet and Tiger Battalion for Pagak HQs under Cdr Brigadier General Daniel Gatbel Kuach in storming and effectively taking full control of the main town of Pagak on Wednesday August 10, 2017. Hence, Major General Bol Ruach Rom and Major General Justin Nhial Batoang were subsequently isolated around Way Station closer to South Sudan-Ethiopian border.
In the intense Maiwut fighting alone, the gallant SPLA (IO) D5 forces captured huge stock of ammunition, material and military equipment and hardwire including seventeen (17) Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPGs), thirty (30) PKM, seven (7) military textures mounted with 12.7 machine guns, one (1) Worrol mounted with 14 machine gun, four (4) Barrels, one (1) BM and more than five hundred and sixty (160) newly acquired AK45 rifles. Apart of these huge material and military hardwire, the ethnocentric Juba regime also lost more than two hundred (200) soldiers, including the Deputy Commander for Artillery Unit, among other senior officers.
In the following Pagak fighting, the ethnocentric Juba regime lost every single gun and ammunition that had just been airlifted to Pagak from Juba. Worse still, some three hundred (300) Dinka and other non-Nuer soldiers who endured and survived the Maiwut and Pagak fighting plus those who recently arrived from Juba on a chartered cargo plane refused to fight and were the first to be disarmed and handed over to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as refugees upon crossing into the neighbouring Ethiopia.
Following their humiliating defeat in Maiwut and Pagak, the notorious Major General Bol Ruach Rom, the so-called Governor of Salva Kiir Mayardit’s Maiwut State, Major General Justin Nhial Batoang, the Operation Commander, and more than one thousand (1000) Juba regime soldiers under their command finally fled to the Ketir area on the other side of River Jekow, where they have been isolated and confined.
The SPLM-SPLA (IO) wishes to inform the people of South Sudan and indeed its members and supporters that the Juba regime aggression in Maiwut and Pagak have failed and that Kaijaak, Mathiang, Malual Gahoth/Malou, Pamach, Thochdeng, Jotome, Kigile, Jekou and certainly Maiwut and Pagak, among others, are under our full and complete control.
Above all, we thank the government and people of Ethiopia for their hospitality in welcoming and hosting the displaced and innocent civilian population that managed to escape the deadly Juba regime offensive in the area.
Brig. Gen. William Gatjiath Deng
SPLA (IO) Spokesperson,
Pagak GHQs, South Sudan