Fighting between members of the South Sudanese army and opponents of the government resulted in a number of dead and wounded on the Sudan-South Sudan border between East Darfur and Northern Bahr El Ghazal.
The clash comes less than a week after the leader of the South Sudanese opposition forces, Riek Machar, was sworn-in as First Vice-President in Juba.
Combatants of his Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) attacked South Sudanese soldiers in the area of Malwal last week.
The opposition fighters moved from the vicinity of a camp south of Abu Jabra in East Darfur, to Malwal, where they launched the attack, a witness told Radio Dabanga on Tuesday.
“The soldiers killed and wounded a number of them, and seized two of their vehicles. The combatants fled to East Darfur and transported their wounded to Abu Jabra for treatment.”
The Commissioner of Abu Jabra, El Dhaif Eisa Aliyu, confirmed the occurrence of the clash to Radio Dabanga.
“The attack of the opposition force was initiated by one of the Sheikhs in Bahr el Ghazal, named Abdel Bagi, and a man named Tibin Mahel, who is said to be a former army captain.”
Aliyu added that three fighters are being treated at the town’s hospital, and an investigation into the incident and the identities of the attackers is ongoing.
Speaking to Radio Dabanga, another witness claimed that Mahel and his fighters arrived south of Abu Jabra two months ago, and that he has started training combatants in the area.