Multiple sources from Malakal town of South Sudan’s Upper Nile State have confirmed movement of military airplanes at the airport in recent days.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, one source said four military aircraft including two helicopters were seen flying in the city and outside to check positions of the armed opposition forces around Nasser.
He pointed that these aircraft created fear and panic among the citizens and displaced people inside the displacement camp in Malakal. Another source who preferred not to be named told Radio Tamazuj he saw four military aircraft taking off from Malakal airport and come back. An armed opposition official in Ulang County, commissioner Hon Kech Ngouth Tiem, said earlier that government forces have shelled their areas by aircrafts.
But the information secretary for SPLM-IO in Sobat State, Dukhan Jundit Both, told Radio Tamazuj that there were no bombardments in Ulang County, contradicting the claim by the county commissioner.
“There was no bombardments in Ulang county and no one was killed eitheron Tuesday [in] aerial bombardments made in Nasir county by Salva Kiir aircraft… Only one man was killed on 7/8/2016 in Nyikima area outside Nasir town,” said Dukhan.
Resumption of aerial or ground attacks in Upper Nile State, if confirmed, could represent renewal of conflict in one of the main theaters of South Sudan’s civil war from 2014-2015 when a peace agreement was signed.