18 March 2011

Sudan: Jonglei - SPLA Clash With Rebel Group in Duk Padiet

Bor — Fighting broke out Wednesday evening between South Sudan's army (SPLA) and forces loyal to renegade George Athor Deng under the command of David Yauyau at Ayen Kou and Ayuel villages of Duk Padiet payam [district] of Duk county in northern Jonglei forcing civilians to flee the area.

Abiel Chan Anyang, who is the MP for Duk county at Jonglei Legislative Assembly (JLA) said the SPLA had repelled the attack.

According to Anyang, the militias left the area in two groups after the clash and went in different directions. One group was seen again behind Poktap air strip at 2:00am on Thursday morning at a water point a few kilometers away from the village but managed to make their way out.

The local MP said that people in the area did not attempt to attack the militia as the group was too large.The other group fled through Pabiorhol and was now heading to Pibor county across Gadiang Desert, Anyang said

Anyang told Sudan Tribune that he does not know how many people were killed or injured in the fighting. He said that would travel to the area with the MP for Duk County, Philip Thon Leek, who is a former governor of Jonglei state.

Athor Deng defected from the goverment of South Sudan last year after April's general elections, accusing the government of rigging the results in favor of the incumbent governor Kuol Manyang Juuk who became the incumbent governor.

Juuk was not availbale for comment on the recent clashes.

On Friday Reuters reported that at least 59 soldiers and rebels were killed on Thursday in clashes between the SPLA and local militia in Unity and Upper Nile according to a military spokesperson.

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