At least two SPLA soldiers were reportedly killed and 10 others wounded in clashes with the SPLA-IO rebels in Manyo County Upper Nile state Friday evening.
Manyo County commissioner Rajab Deng told Radio Tamazuj that the clashes erupted at Daba area of the Upper Nile panhandle on Friday and continued for several hours.
He said government troops managed to defeat the rebels and seize vehicles and military equipment.
The official said that two SPLA soldiers were killed and 10 others sustained injuries during the clashes.
The commissioner of Pariang County in South Sudan’s Unity state accused SPLA-In Opposition rebels loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar of attacking their positions at Lalop and Khatel-Nar areas.
Machar still getting arms from Sudan?
The attack comes amid allegations that Machar is getting weapons from Khartoum to oust the government of President Salva Kiir.
Sudan blogger, Eric Reeves, insists Khartoum has continued to support Machar by supplying arms to his fighters throughout Upper Nile, where fighting is most intense and most consequential.
“Notably, more than a dozen fixed-wing cargo flights have been observed landing at Mendeng village, some ten miles southeast of Nasir (08° 32′ 00″ N / 033° 07′ 00″ E). Notable also is the proximity of Mendeng to a dry season road that is listed by the UN as suitable for small trucks (up to 10 metric tons); as the road reaches Dome to the northwest (on the way to Malakal) the road becomes suitable for trucks of over 10 MT,” writes Reeves.
Quoting a “Dispatch from the Field” by Conflict Armament Research (June 2015) | “Weapons and Ammunition Airdropped to SPLA-in Opposition Forces in South Sudan”, Reeves says the weapons and ammunition documented display clear evidence of damage sustained during airdrops to SPLA-iO units, which reportedly took place in September–October 2014.
“Furthermore, the materiel is identical to previously documented arms and ammunition airdropped by Sudan to rebels in South Sudan in 2012, which provides strong indication of new, direct supplies from Sudan to SPLA-iO operations.”
“As an already desperate Khartoum regime finds itself facing the prospect of losing oil transit fees for the oil moving from Upper Nile to Port Sudan for export, it will be forced to make critical decisions about how to respond militarily; it simply cannot afford to lose this key source of foreign exchange currency. Heavy military re-supplying of the SPLA/iO in Upper Nile is an ominous sign.”