Pro-government forces have taken control of Jekou town in Maiwut State on Sunday after SPLA-IO forces allegedly attacked their position, the spokesperson of the breakaway IO forces has said.
According to Brigadier General Paul Puok Kang, the IO forces attacked their position on Sunday afternoon and pursued them in Jekou Garrison.
Last year, Major General James Ochan Puot, one of the SPLA-IO former top commanders defected from Riek Machar’s group and joined President Salva Kiir’s government.
“At around 4 pm, the IO forces attacked our position in a place called Nyoplew in Urieng, so after attacking us we repulsed the attack and pursued them into Jekou Garrison,” Gen. Kang, the spokesperson of Ochan’s forces told Eye Radio on Monday.
However, the SSPDF spokesperson, General Lul Ruai Koang said he is not aware of any attack on the opposition forces in Jekou.
He said the government has no forces in Jekou.
“We do not have a presence in that area,” the SSPDF spokesperson refuted. “The only place we have our forces is Nasir and Maiwut. Those are the only two places we have forces in Latjor and Maiwut state.”
However, Ochan’s spokesperson said the SSPDF command in Pagak is aware of the clashes.
“You know, there was a team that came to Maiwut that integrated our forces into SSPDF, so we are already part of the government. We are in coordination with the authorities in Pagak, and they know what is happening,” Gen. Kang added.
For his part, the SPLM/SPLA-IO Director for Information and Public Relations, Puok Both Baluang condemned the attack.
In a press statement on Monday, Baluang said the attack is a violation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCISS).
Mr. Both also called on the ceasefire monitoring body-CTSAMVM and the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission to immediately “investigate this violation which poses a threat to the implementation of the peace agreement.”