For the past two weeks, there have been fierce clashes reported around Pagak in Maiwut State between SPLA-IO-Riek and SPLA-IO-Taban forces.
The humanitarian agencies have evacuated their employees from the area for fear of safety. There is reported mass displacement of civil population and some have fled towards Ethiopia.
But the question of who is controlling the besieged town remained unanswered. SPLA-IO-Taban faction which is part of the transitional government in Juba have said their forces are almost declaring victory over Riek forces who they call anti-peace forces. Sources confirmed Taban forces have captured several villages on their way to Maiwut and Pagak towns.
According to SSBC journalist Garang John, the Taban SPLA-IO forces are few kilometres from Pagak town and they are expected to capture Riek’s headquarters in coming days.
Below is what Garang said on Facebook this morning:
The stronghold of the rebel group led by renegade Riek Machar is under siege. Pagak is under serious military lockdown as forces loyal to Gen. Taban Deng Gai battle militants they described as anti-peace elements who have rejected the call for national dialogue. A reliable source who spoke to me on condition of anonymity from the area said the army is just few kilometers away from, Pagak, a town located at the border of South Sudan and Ethiopia. He added that SPLA IO troops loyal to Gen. Taban Deng have seized several weapons from Machar’s militants after series of fierce gun battle on their way to Pagak.