On Sunday, June 19, 2016, at about 3:00PM, opposition fighters under overall command of Maj. Gen. James Keak Jal launched a surprise attack on SPLA positions at Payar near Leer’s Airstrip.
Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, SPLA Spokesperson, SPLA GHQs-Bilpam says the attackers were repelled but three SPLA soldiers were wounded and one serviceman succumbed to his gunshot wounds two days later.
The attacks were aimed at recapturing Riek Machar’s hometown so that it could be used as one of cantonment sites.
“Our intelligence operatives had unearthed SPLA IO’s operational plans to recapture Leer long before Riek’s return to Juba but those futile efforts were then thwarted by our Gallant SPLA Forces.”
SPLA denies rustling cattle
Koang said the SPLA, as the National Army has an up to date Combat Service Support (CSS) Unit entirely dedicated to providing logistical support to “our combat Units across the country and hence there won’t be any reason whatsoever for our forces to raid cattle from civilians who have been living in an area that has been under our control for too long”.
“This is a pure fabrication. Secondly, Payak is not 10km away as insinuated by my counterpart but only 2km from Leer Airstrip.”
He said attacks on Payak village was a continuation of SPLA IO’s encroachment strategy on our territories.
“This encroachment policy has failed in the past and is bound to fail no matter how much efforts are being exerted.”
He expressed dismay with the way the Spokesperson for SPLA IO continuously and intentionally “lie” without feeling ashamed in his fruitless efforts to defend unruly and untrained tribal fighters who absolutely know nothing about rules of engagement and code of conduct.
“SPLA IO should stop trying to re-ignite the costly conflict we are trying to put behind in order to move forward. Lastly, the SPLA calls on CTSAMM to commence immediate investigations in order to ascertain who violated provisions in Transitional Security Arrangements in particular and the peace agreement in general.”