South Sudan’s rebel military command warns of “full-scale war”

Addis Ababa, May 19, 2015 (SSNA) — South Sudanese rebel military command on Tuesday warned of “full-scale war” after government troops launched coordinated attacks against their forces in Upper Nile, Unity, and Jonglei States.

The SPLA-IO military command which is fully tasked to oversee the opposition forces blasted South Sudanese President Salva Kiir handling of the conflict and accuses him of “reckless behavior.”

The rebel command asserted that Kiir’s leadership has no difference with someone who heads a Mafia-run corporation.

Johnson Wal Hoth, a high ranking official with the rebel military command declares Juba as a puppet of Kampala, saying dealing with kiir is like dealing with a coward who runs a Mafia-managed business.

“Juba reckless behavior is not stopping, so we have decided to wage full scale war against Kiir’s genocidal government,” Johnson told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

“Juba soldiers with their foreign allies have been violating the January 2014 cessation of hostilities agreement…and it is not easy to deal with somebody who thinks he can stay in power by acting like coward who runs a Mafia-company,” he declared.

This month, government troops massacred civilians in Mayom County and South of Bentiu in Unity State. The Juba-backed soldiers were also accused of raping women, young girls, kidnapped boys, killed many civilians, and looted large numbers of livestock.

On Tuesday, the office of the Spokesperson for the military command of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) released a statement stating that combined forces of the SPLA-IO and Local Defend Forces (LDF) have took full control of Maluth and are now five (5) kilometers away from Paloch main oilfields.

“A Joint operation from the SPLA-IO and local defend forces or (LDF) are pursuing pro-government forces towards Paloch oil fields in Upper Nile state. Our forces are about 5 KM from the main oilfields after clearing and took control of Maluth in the early hours today [Tuesday] from the government forces,” Colonel Lony T. Ngundeng, the official Spokesperson for the rebel military command said in a statement obtained by the SSNA.

Col. Lony also said rebel forces have captured Thiangrial and Panomdiit located at the west bank of the Nile River, adding that the SPLA-IO and LDF also captured government’s ferry trying to transport military-hard ware destined for Malakal.

Lony further claimed that opposition troops are marching toward Paloch and that the SPLA-IO is fully prepared to shutdown the Upper Nile oilfields used by Juba to buy war equipments.

South Sudanese armed factions have been involved in renewed fighting since mid-April after IGAD-led peace talks collapsed in early March.

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