South Sudan

Rebels claim killing 11 S. Sudanese soldiers in Upper Nile

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Nearly a dozen South Sudanese soldiers were killed at a road ambush along the road leading to Kola-Wedakona, located north of Upper Nile state, a rebel official said.

The armed opposition spokesperson in northern Upper Nile state, Captain Paul Malieth, claimed their forces foiled an attack allegedly planned by pro-government on their stronghold, Sunday evening.

He also claimed they repulsed a coordinated and planned attack from the army loyal to the South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir.

“We have counted 11 soldiers dead. 15 others were seriously wounded on Sunday night,” he told Sudan Tribuneover phone.

Clashes between forces loyal to former first vice-president, Riek Machar and those allied to government forces clashed near Malakal, killing 56 soldiers, army spokesperson, Lul Ruai Koang said.

According to Malieth, the armed opposition forces earlier detected the movement of pro-government forces from Wedakona, allegedly with plans to attack their base but this was thwarted by the rebels.

He also claimed 3 PKMs, 2 RPGs and 10 AK47s were captured from pro-government forces, allegations Sudan Tribune could not easily verify.

In a separate interview, the rebel brigade commander for Kola, Brigadier Gen. James GatLuak accused government forces of failing to honor the peace accord both president Kiir and Machar signed.

The two armed opposition officials, however, admitted losing two of their servicemen in Sunday’s incident which occurred north of Upper Nile state.

The United Nations recently warned over the increasing fighting between South Sudan’s rival factions in Unity, Upper Nile, Western, Eastern and Central Equatoria states, urging the warring factions to cease hostilities.

(ST)

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