SPLA oils guns to seize Machar Pagak stronghold

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SPLA soldiers stand in a vehicle in Juba

The governor of South Sudan’s Maiwut state has claimed that government troops are reorganizing themselves in Maiwut town to attack Pagak, the rebel stronghold established by former first vice president Riek Machar near the Ethiopian border.

The town of Maiwut is located in the vicinity of Pagak, headquarters of the opposition faction allied to the exiled former first vice president, Riek Machar.

“Actually we are reorganizing ourselves to protect the border. As you know very well that Maiwut is bordering Ethiopia, so we cannot leave it. We will go to Pagak when we reorganize our troops,” Governor Bol Ruach Rom told Radio Tamazuj through Thuraya satellite phone this afternoon.

The government official claimed that their forces killed eight rebel soldiers and wounded 42 others during clashes in Maiwut town on Thursday. Bol admitted that one soldier and two others were wounded from their side.

But the military spokesman of the government-allied opposition faction, Dickson Gatkuak provided conflicting accounts saying two soldiers were killed and five others wounded from their side

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The government-allied opposition group announced yesterday that its troops had captured Maiwut, a town located 400 kilometres north-east of the capital Juba, despite a unilateral ceasefire declared by President Kiir on May 22.

The Troika and EU members have recently said in a joint statement that the offensive against opposition troops near Pagak is a clear violation of the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Kiir, and called into question the government’s commitment to reach peace through the national dialogue.

Source: Tamazuj

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