Source: Radio Tamazuj
The two warring parties in South Sudan on Friday accused each other of carrying out attacks in Mayom County of Unity State, with both sides confirming recent fighting in the area.
Mayom County Commissioner John Bol, a loyalist of the SPLM-Juba faction led by Salva Kiir, told Radio Tamazuj on Friday that the fighting took place in Wangkai payam and also around Bentiu town.
The top county official claimed that the White Army under the command of the rebel general Peter Gadet attacked SPLA positions in Wangkai payam, while also carrying out another attack around Bentiu town.
Bol said the simultaneous attacks were repelled by the SPLA forces, who inflicted heavy losses on the assailants.
“Today the forces of Riek Machar attacked our forces at 6:15 in the morning in Wangkai payam and around Bentiu as well as Rubkona on Friday, so we wanted to inform the international community and IGAD mediation to take note of that,” he explained, speaking on Friday.
The commissioner asserted that the SPLA forces stationed in the area managed to maintain their positions, claiming about 200-300 SPLA defectors were killed, while their forces incurred minor losses in those two separate clashes.
For his part, Dak Kang, a representative of the SPLM-IO faction in Mayom County, denied the claims. He instead accused the government forces of attacking areas under their control.
He claimed that civilians were recently killed and about 1,000 head of cattle were raided, besides 400 houses torched in recent raids carried out by government forces against areas they considered sympathetic to the insurgency in Mayom County.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Friday, Dak said that fighting was still continuing.
He said the SPLM-IO were committed to the ceasefire agreement signed in May, but accused the SPLM-Juba forces led by Salva Kiir of violating the agreement.
“But, Salva Kiir’s forces usually make trouble here in the county. You know, two days ago they killed innocent citizens and raided cattle and set on fire houses belonging to citizens,” he said.
“Pro-government forces are now controlling the towns of Bentiu and Mayom, nevertheless they usually go outside to attack our areas,” Dak added.