The governor of the South Sudan’s proposed Wau State has confirmed that one soldier was killed in clashes between government and opposition forces on the outskirts of Wau town.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, Governor Elias Waya said opposition forces have attacked their positions west of Wau where one soldier was killed.
“The rebel forces have killed a soldier from our forces. On Friday a force went to bring his body but they clashed with them. They are the ones who are creating insecurity around Wau,” Waya said.
He pointed out that clashes erupted again Friday when government forces came and took the body of the soldier.
However, Waya claimed that the security situation in Wau is normal, but said another body was found in a hole in Hai 50 in Wau town.
Meanwhile, field commander of the rebel forces Gissmalla Arnu accused government forces of attacking their position in different parts since Thursday until Saturday.
“On 21 and 22 of April government forces attacked our positions in Bagari and Angu Angu,” said Arnu.
He claimed that government forces are the ones who started the attack on their position in Angu Angu.
Wau town and its surroundings have witnessed different clashes between government and rebel forces since the signing of the peace agreement in August last year.
Meanwhile, a group of mostly Shilluk rebels in South Sudan’s Upper Nile region says they will lay down their weapons if President Salva Kiir’s order to create 28 states is cancelled.
General Yoanes Okich, head of the Tiger Faction New Forces, said Sunday his forces would accept to lay down weapons and accept negotiations with the government if Kiir abided by South Sudan’s ten states.
The 28 states proposal places Upper Nile capital Malakal within the Dinka-dominated “Eastern Nile state,” while the Shilluk-dominated “Western Nile state” is drawn to not include Malakal town.
Okich denied his side is fighting an ethnic war and said that if their demand is met they would fold their arms and allow themselves to be killed.
“Our demands are clear. We are not to wage any war against a particular community,” he said.
“We are waging a war against injustice, lack of equality and personification of institutions. Salva Kiir is not our enemy, the Jieng (Dinka) council of elders is not our enemy, but they are standing on our way to administering justice, equality, and now they want to take our land,” he said.
“We are not scared of any force and we are not scared to fight and to defend ourselves. We will fight. We know for a fact that the decision of President Salva Kiir and his government to create 28 states was not based on anything. People were not consulted and this why it has created a lot of concerns. It is not only our movement which is concerned. Everybody is concerned,” he said.