SPLM-IO troops are under attack in northern Upper Nile State at Jalhak, their military spokesman claimed today, also vowing to retaliate by cutting off supplies to South Sudan’s main oil field.
The South Sudanese government and SPLM-IO led by Riek Machar have failed to agree on cantonment sites in the Upper Nile region following fighting between SPLM-IO troops cantoned in Juba and government troops there in July.
SPLA-IO military spokesman Colonel William Gatjiath speaking to Radio Tamazuj today said that the government attacked their troops at Jelhak yesterday but fighting continues today.
Gatjiath who is based at the rebel headquarters in Pagak says that five of their soldiers were wounded from their side in Jelhak but they repulsed the attack.
In a written statement sent separately he made the same claim saying that they also captured some vehicles and two war barges from the government which were mounted with heavy artillery.
SPLA deputy military spokesman Santo Dominic contacted by Radio Tamazuj today said that he had no information about the fighting. The commissioner of Renk County was not reachable.
“The provocation and constant naughtiness from the government side will force SPLA/IO to launch new offensive, and we will be applying all physical retaliations against the government forces all over Upper Nile in order to restore peace and order in the region,” Gatjiath wrote.
He added that their forces would now try to “cut off the main supplying route of Paloch oil fields and Renk in the far North.” He was referring to the Paloich oilfield which is South Sudan’s only remaining and most productive oilfield.