Renewed Fighting? South Sudan troops Launch Fresh Offensive on Opposition forces—Spokesperson

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South Sudan government troops launched an offensive against forces loyal to opposition leader and Vice president in the Transitional government of national Unity Riek Machar, his spokesperson said.

Speaking from Nairobi, James Gatdet said the offensive was launched in name of a recent resolution by SPLA leadership to hunt down Dr. Riek Machar and his forces.

“The aim of the offensive was to look for and hunt down the First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, despite his repeated assurances that he is willing to return to Juba once a third party force is deployed soon”.

Gatdet said they managed to repulse the attackers following immense fire exchange along Juba-Yei road and government forces sustained a number of causalities. He said SPLA-IO forces are ready to fight back in case of any attacks on it by government troops he said.

Gatdet’s statement reveals there has been fighting between the two forces which reportedly started both on Tuesday.

“Our forces are ready to fight back in self-defence and the Tuesday and Wednesday clashes around Mundri town and on Yei road – like at Jebel Kujur battles in Juba – are bitter lessons to the warmongering forces of President Salva Kiir” he said.

He calls on the International community to speedup the process for the deployment of a third neutral force in South Sudan to strengthen the cessation of hostilities so to implement the peace agreement.

“We call on regional players and the wider international community to put pressure on President Kiir to give peace a chance and stop the military offensive in case he is in control of his forces”.

Gatdet retaliated the remarks also in a Facebook post

A South Sudan military official East Africa Daily spoke to could neither deny nor confirm the incident but asked to be contacted later for the government said of the story.