South Sudan: Gov’t, Rebels say Lost top Generals During Renewed Fighting in Oil-rich Region

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Reports from South Sudan battle fields indicate that both government and forces allied opposition leader Riek Machar lost top generals during weekend clashes near in the oil-rich town of Malakal, Northeast of South Sudan.

Machar’s Press officer James Gatdet Dak told the media that their general, named Mujahid Abiel, was initially wounded and died hours later.

“Yes, we have lost one of our generals, actually he was supervising the operations in defense of our territories around Malakal when our forces came under attack from the Juba regime’s forces over the weekend,” Dak, was quoted by plural news website Sudan Tribune.

He said  Abiel, was killed while inspecting the area of Lelo, which had been captured from the government’s forces. A wounded government soldier who was left in Lelo shot at the general unaware as he was walking inspecting the area with his forces he said.

Lelo, which is only about 2km west of Malakal town, is inhabited by the ethnic Shilluk according to the Sudan Tribune.

The government admitted with reservations having lost one of their senior generals around Renk, a town in Eastern Nile State, in the northeastern part of South Sudan, close to the border with the Republic of Sudan. They could not disclose his name.

Dak also said fighting has been going on in areas around Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria, in addition to the clashes in Upper Nile region and in Western Bhar el Ghazal.

“The ongoing fighting in many areas across the country is a result of the ongoing offensive against our positions by the regime’s forces ,” he added.

The East African nation is on the brink of another catastrophic outbreak of violence between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Machar, more than a year after a peace deal that has been violated repeatedly by fighting.