South Sudan News Agency

Friday, Nov 28th, 2014

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Heavy fighting erupts in Fangak County after government troops launched successful attacks

Addis Ababa, November 28, 2014 (SSNA) -- Heavy fighting between government and rebel forces broke out in Fangak County, Jonglei State, late Friday with both sides using heavy artilleries, the South Sudan News Agency has learned.

The latest fighting casts doubts on the success of the ongoing peace talks in Ethiopia.

South Sudan’s government troops launched successful attacks on rebels’ positions and took control over the administrative Headquarters of Fangak County, Phom El Zaref, according to the military Spokesman for the SPLA-in Opposition, Brig. General Lul Ruai Koang.

Koang said government soldiers have been shelling their outposts for days and that their forces decided to make a tactical withdraw, warning that the SPLA-in opposition is ready to retake all areas from government troops at any time.

“After three to four days of heavy shelling of Phom El Zaref, the Administrative HQs of Fangak County in northern Jonglei State by Government's Artillery and Riverine Units, our Gallant SPLA Forces under overall command of Maj. Gen. Gabriel Tangiye completed tactical withdrawal from the town centre and took positions at vintage points,” Koang said in a public statement.

Koang stated government forces deliberately set houses on fire, adding that the town that they burned down is mainly a Ghost town because all its residents left for their safety.

“Kiir's tribal army entered Phome El Zaref and deliberately burned all down all the structures which survived the un-proportionate and destructive artillery, mortar fires used,” he added.

On November 26, rebels’ positions in Fangak County came under heavy attacks from government forces stationed in Uluak on western bank of the White Nile in Panyikang County, Upper Nile State.

The spokesman for the anti-government forces also disclosed that forces loyal to South Sudan's Former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, had inflicted heavy personnel and equipment loses on the government’s troops and capturing 300 different weapons.

Meanwhile, the office of the SPLA-Juba Spokesperson, Philip Aguer, has refused to comment on the new fighting.

Rebels accuse Ugandan air force of “unusual flights”; warn of ‘serious consequences’

Pagak, November 26, 2014 (SSNA) -- The military wing of the South Sudanese rebels, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in Opposition (SPLA-IO), has accused the Ugandan air force of conducting strange flights over its territories. The rebels said their military counterintelligence division started monitoring Uganda fighter jets from the moments they left Kampala for Juba.

The accusation happens as rebels prepare to start their consultative conference in Pagak, Maiwut County, Upper Nile State.

“Between November 10-19, agents of our military counterintelligence division on the ground had informed us of unusual military activities both in Kampala and Juba. Then, on November 23, four Su-30MK2 fighter jets left Entebbe military airbase for Juba International Airport,” a senior General of the SPLA-in Opposition in Pagak told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA).

The rebel General said Uganda's fighter jets have been acting recklessly and that the suspicion was quickly confirmed soon after military jets of Uganda landed in Juba.

“Less than six hours after they landed on the far east of Juba's airport, two jets took off and headed to Bor. There, the same jets began their unusual journey to our territories,” he said.

"When they left Bor, they headed to Malakal. Then, after we spotted them they changed their flight route and headed to the direction of Unity State, and then they make a quick U-turn and headed back to Jonglei state”, he revealed.

“I can assure you…we are 100% sure that Juba regime is seriously ill and it is being treated in Kampala by Ugandan military doctors,” the visibly furious rebel General added.

The SPLA-IO General warned of “serious consequences” if Uganda continues what he calls “fishing tactics”, asserting that the anti-government forces are capable of deliver crushing blows to any aggressor including Uganda air force.

In December 2013, Ugandan Air force Bombed Rebel Bases in Jonglei State. Uganda denied any involvement.

However, a report by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) later confirmed that Uganda has used cluster bombs against rebel forces.

On the 5th of November, documents of the Ugandan military war plans were leaked the SSNA; the transcripts disclosed that Uganda has completed its war plan against South Sudanese rebels. The documents further revealed that Kampala, Juba, and unnamed countries of the Great Lakes Region are poised to launch a major military offensive against the rebels in either late December or early next year.

The Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) is currently fighting alongside South Sudan’s government soldiers against forces loyal to South Sudan’s Former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar. Rebels have on many occasions called on Ugadna to withdraw its military from South Sudan.

SPLA and its Foreign Allies Launch Fresh Attacks on Rebels’ Positions in Unity State: Chief Negotiator

Addis Ababa, November 8, 2014 (SSNA) -- South Sudanese Rebel Chief Negotiator General Taban Deng Gai, has sent a protest letter to IGAD head Negotiator, accusing South Sudan’s government of launching fresh attacks on their positions in Unity State. A copy of the correspondence which was signed by Deng and sent to the Chairperson of IGAD Special Envoys for South Sudan, Ambassador Seyuom Mesfin, was obtained by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA).

The attacks come just less than 24 hours after the two warring sides agreed to honor the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement which was signed in January this year.

“We make this statement to bring it to the attention of the Chairperson of IGAD Special Envoys, H. E. Seyuom Mesfin, that the Government has again launched fresh attacks on our positions in Unity State this morning,” Gai wrote.

The letter also stated that combined forces of government troops, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and Sudan People’s Liberation army-North (SPLA-N) attacked their positions in Tor and Hofra.

“On November 8, 2014, GRSS, JEM and SPLA-North forces advanced from Bentiu and Pariang and attacked our positions at Tor and Hofra in Unity State,” he said.

The rebels’ Chief negotiator condemned the attacks and called on IGAD, Troika countries (UK, US, and Norway), and the United Nations to denounce South Sudanese government's actions and demand an investigation.

“SPLM/SPLA condemns in the strongest terms possible the continuous aggression and violation of Cessation of Hostilities Agreement by the regime in Juba and calls on IGAD, Troika and the United Nations to condemn these unproved attacks by GRSS forces and investigate these aggressions,” Gai added.

Fighting has been raging with both sides repeatedly accusing each other of breaking the January 2014 truce.

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