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Monday, Nov 30th, 2015

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South Sudan’s rebels on “high alert” as government troops prepare to launch simultaneous attacks in Unity and Jonglei States

Juba/Addis Ababa, May 4, 2015 (SSNA) -- South Sudanese rebels has announced that government troops and their unnamed foreign allies are preparing to launch coordinated assaults against their forces in Unity and Jonglei States, adding that the SPLA-IO is on "high alert," ready to counter any attack from Juba.

The new warning comes a week after the two rival factions engaged in a fierce battle in Unity State.

On Monday, the armed opposition sent an ultimatum to government, saying Juba soldiers must prepare themselves for “serious consequences.”

In a press statement seen by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA), the rebels said the SPLA-Juba faction and its foreign allies have been planning for military revenge attacks against the SPLA-IO and Lou Nuer areas after last week government failed attempt to retake Unity State oil fields.

“Our forces are on high alert…in unity and Jonglei states where SPLA forces are being monitor for their advancing move from Gatdiang to attack Lou Nuer Local defend forces (LDF).” the SPLA-IO statement reads in part.

“They are on the same move to attack Mayandiit and Leer in Unity state through Lake state.” The statement added.

The rebels also asserted that 3T-55 government tanks were captured by the SPLA-IO in Bentiu fighting, resulting in “a blame-game and a fiery confrontation” between Juba’s top military Generals. The armed opposition also disclosed that Juba has also lost several T-55 tanks during last month fighting between Johnson Olony’s Shilluk fighters and government soldiers in Malakal.  

Government soldiers abandoned their positions in Upper Nile State

The Office of Spokesman for South Sudan’s rebels also revealed that troops of the government of South Sudan have left their outposts in late April and went to two new military locations run by Juba.

The rebels claimed that the SPLA-IO intelligence division has confirmed the sudden departure of government forces, adding that the withdrawal began on April 22nd and completed on the 24th of April.

The SPLA-IO said the evacuation was a result of an increasingly volatile situation and fighting in Upper Nile and Unity States. The rebels also suggested that Juba forces may have left because of what they described as “pressure and threat from forces of the SPLA-IO.”

“This is to inform the public in the entire country of South Sudan that SPLA/Juba faction made force[d] evacuation[s] in several places in Upper Nile on 24/4/2015 due to the pressure and threat from our forces.” the statement revealed.

The rebel military Spokesperson also announced that the SPLA-IO is set to occupy Baliet, Galachiel, Pom,  Attar,  Kaldak,  Cannal,  Khorpoluth, Doleep, Obel 1, Obel 2, Obel 3, Obel 4, Wechtungkeernyang, and Tunja military outposts recently vacated by government troops.

The SPLA-IO further warned that its forces have completed planning for the last 48 hours and that they are ready for any action.

Government soldiers are currently stationed in Akooka and Maluth, according to the press statement obtained by the SSNA.

US warns of “grave risk” to South Sudan’s future

Nairobi, May 4, 2015 (SSNA) -- The United States’ Secretary of State, John Kerry, said the future of violence-wracked South Sudan is indeterminate, warning that the young nation’s future is at “grave risk.”

The US top diplomat issued the warning on Monday in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

At a news conference, Kerry repeatedly blamed South Sudanese rival leaders for failing to reach a deal in Ethiopia, adding that there is a need for compromises between the two leaders.

“South Sudan's leaders ... have not yet chosen to make the compromises needed for peace,” Kerry told reporters in Nairobi.

IGAD-mediated peace talks between Kiir and Machar failed in March after the two sides failed to agree on a power sharing deal.

The United States increases its pressure on South Sudan’s rivals. In late March, the US President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order 13664, declaring South Sudan a direct threat to US’s national security and foreign policy. In the order, Obama also extended US’s national emergency of April 2014 beyond April 2015.

South Sudan’s rebels say ‘in total control’ of Mayom County, dismiss government’s victory claim

Addis Ababa, May 2, 2015 (SSNA) -- South Sudanese rebels said on Friday that the latest fighting in the oil-rich Unity State ended without a winner, adding that the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) voluntarily withdrawn its forces before government troops declared victory.

“The fighting that took place yesterday [Thursday] in Unity state did not favor any side,” The office of rebels’ Spokesman said in a statement.

The rebels also slammed government’s victory claim, saying the SPLA-IO made a “tactical withdrawal” not a defeat, citing civil population.

“It was military tactical withdrawal from SPLA/IO FORCES but not [a] defeat as the government claims,” the statement further asserted.

The SPLA-IO disclosed that its soldiers are in full control of Mayom County and that any claim by the government that it still controls Mayom is “baseless.”

“We are still in Mayom County around Bull two area[s]. The claims from the government to have control Mayom is totally baseless,” the statement added.

Heavy fighting erupted on Monday between South Sudan’s rival forces in Unity State after government troops launched surprised attacks on rebels’ positions in Guit County and Nhial-Diu Payam.

Earlier this week, the rebels said Juba and its foreign allies are in desperate move to raise money to finance the ongoing civil war against the SPLA-IO. The rebels further revealed that latest attacks against their outposts are parts of government’s grand plan to try to take back oil fields and resume oil production. Juba denied the allegations.

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