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South Sudan’s rebels seize Mundri

Juba, May 22, 2015 (SSNA) -- South Sudan’s rebel forces on Friday captured Mundri of Western Equatoria state from government’s troops, the office of rebel Spokesperson has proclaimed.

The armed opposition seizure of the town was announced on Friday by rebel Spokesman James Gatdet Dak, who congratulates and praises the action taken by the Equatoria region-based SPLA-IO section under the command of Major General Elias Lako Jada.

“The spokesperson in the office of the Chairman and Commander-in-Chief, SPLM/SPLA, do hereby announce the capture today (Friday) of Mundri town in Western Equatoria state by our gallant forces under the overall command of Major General Elias Lako Jada,” the statement reads in part.

“Mundri, which is about 200kms west of Juba, is a strategic town which links the national capital, Juba, with the Western Equatoria state capital, Yambio,” it added.

On Thursday, the SPLA-IO warned that it will attack Paloch oilfields at anytime and called on oil companies to immediately evacuate their employees and leave the area.

The capture of the town, which links Juba with the Western Equatoria state, is yet another worrying sign for government, which is already facing numerous military defeats in Upper Nile State.

Meanwhile, the office of Spokesman for the SPLA-Juba faction Philip Aguer declined to comment on the issue when contacted by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA).

Peace Ambassador condemns the killing of intellectual young men in Akobo East

Press release

Addis Ababa, May 20, 2015 (SSNA) -- I’m deeply sorry for what happened in Akobo County today (Wednesday May 20, 15), the killing of two highly intellectual young men by civilians because of inter-clans revenge among Akobo’s citizens.

To be honest, I’m deeply dismayed by the tragedy death of both Mr. Yohannes Pal Kuek and Mr. Puok James (Pow James) who is also a very well known journalist. Pow James has been actively reporting on Radio Tamazuj from Akobo. This incident on them is a crime against Humanity and this must be highly investigated.

It’s not the first time; the clans in Akobo have been targeting the intellectuals who are far from the clans’ skirmishes. Civilians used to fight among themselves, but revenged their love ones by killing an intellectual instead of the killer who killed the person.

Pal and Puok had nothing to do with this conflict between Chie-tot and Chie-Majoak of Akobo East. Of course, Yohannes Pal is from Chie-tot, but he knew nothing about the conflict. He was just an innocent intellectual who went to Akobo for Data Collection on his Master’s Degree Thesis. Mr. Puok James was innocently killed because he walked with his friend - Pal. They both were killed while visiting some NGOs’ vicinity in order to access Internet.

I therefore urge the authority in Greater Akobo particularly Akobo East County to intervene and quickly hold an emergency meeting with civilians to decide whether the intellectuals are no longer needed in society so that they can evacuate the County.

Intellectuals are our doctors, teachers, administrators…etc. There is no way at all to target them in such useless and nonsense conflict. I want the Greater Akobo in Abroad and at Home to quickly dispatch a team on the ground and address this issue.

Yohannes Pal held Diploma in Accounting from Queen College in Addis Ababa, Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance from Ethiopia Adventist College and Master Degree in Economics in Unity University in Ethiopia while Puok James with Bachelor in Journalism and Communication.

Once again! I strongly condemn the incident in the strongest term possible as Peace Ambassador and I strongly appeal to Authority in Akobo to critically look into situation so that civilians are aware of the importance of an educated person.

Civilians need to refrain from such acts otherwise a possible evacuation of intellectuals caused by fear will be imminent in Akobo County.

I extend my heartfelt and condolences to the deceased family to leave everything’s to God.

As an actor, I met Puok James during 2010 General Election in Akobo and we talked about how we should act a movie to curb such crimes that include the clans’ skirmishes in Greater Akobo. This was after I released my Movie in 2009.

Puok was a great and talented young man who openly talks to people while Yohannes Pal Kuek was my mentor who taught me Science subjects in Class Eight (8). Pal repeatedly taught me Introduction to Economic during my First Year in University and recently guided me on my Research paper early this year.

Mr. Pal is my role model and I must say that I learn so much from him.

I will always remember these two gentlemen as brothers, charismatic leaders and visionaries!! I believe a Foundation will be one-day build for them by Akobo Community to honor their roles.

I pray for God to comfort their family.
Let them rest in peace, Amen!!
Peace Ambassador Gatwech Koak Nyuon
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

South Sudan’s rebels prepare to attack Paloch oilfields, renew call for oil companies to leave

Juba/Addis Ababa, May 21, 2015 (SSNA) -- South Sudanese rebels on Thursday warned that it has finished its military preparation and that it will strike oilfields at anytime to capture them from government troops.

James Gatdet Dak, the Spokesman for the Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) said the rebel forces once again call on all oil firms operating in Paloch to immediately evacuate their employees and leave the area, warning that anyone or entity refusing to comply with the SPLM/A-IO call will be responsible if anything happen to the lives of oil workers.

“SPLM/SPLA forces have converged around Paloch oilfields - Adar (Upper Nile) state - from different directions to capture the oilfields from pro-Salva Kiir forces any time soon. The leadership of the Movement therefore renews strong advice to any remaining oil worker in Paloch to evacuate for safety reasons,” Gatdet said in a statement extended to the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA).

“Salva Kiir’s government will be held responsible for anything that may happen to their [oil workers] lives in the course of fighting. We call on oil companies operating in the area to ensure that their workers are evacuated,” he warned.

The Spokesperson for the armed opposition stated that the rebel leadership has learned that South Sudanese government is preventing “some international oil workers from leaving the area, using them as human shield.”

In the document, Gatdet also reassured the people of South Sudan and the international community that the SPLA-IO forces made a “tactical withdrawal” from Melut on Wednesday for a reorganization purpose, saying that “Melut town is no longer strategic” after they captured it this Tuesday and that the SPLA-IO still controls Tangrial Bil oil refinery site located near the main oilfields.

The rebel official asserted that capturing oilfields and cutting “off Salva Kiir’s regime from the oil revenues he has been using to finance the war at the expense of the people of South Sudan” is now the number one rebels’ priority.

Gatdet further revealed that heavy fighting broke out in Unity State on Thursday after government forces attacked their outposts on Wednesday in Nyal, the administrative headquarters of Panyijiar County. Rebels “inflicted heavy losses on government’s forces in terms of human casualties and materials,” according to the statement.

In the Unity State fighting, the SPLA-IO claimed it has captured 3 T-55 tanks, 2 Armored Personnel Carriers (APC), 8 big trucks captured, 2 toyota pick-up mounted with heavy weapons, and 2 fuel tankers. The armed opposition also destroyed 2 T-55 tanks, and 1 APC, according to the document obtained by the SSNA.

Early this week, the armed opposition intensified its military operations against government troops, claiming that government soldiers with their foreign allies have been attacking their positions in the oil-rich Unity and Upper Nile States.

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