Fighting erupts among SPLA-IO forces in Unity state
JUBA – Fierce fighting has been reported among forces of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) forces in South Sudan’s Unity State, just a week after the defection of General Tito Biel Wich who accused First Vice President Machar of surrendering to the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit at the expense of the SPLM-IO forces.
Last week, General Tito Biel said he was deserting the SPLA-IO to join the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) under President Salva Kiir Mayardit, but yesterday, he told Sudans Post that he has decided to join the breakaway SPLA-IO faction led by former SPLA-IO chief of staff General Simon Gatwech Dual.
General Biel, who also accused Machar of running the main armed opposition group as a family property with his wife, said he will fight for the full implementation of the security arrangements provision of the revitalized peace agreement the SPLA-IO signed with Kiir in 2018.
Speaking to Sudans Post this morning, a senior South Sudan opposition officer in Bentiu said fighting erupted among SPLA-IO forces in an area in Koch County of Unity state after some soldiers went to attack a villager and then resisting arrest from the higher SPLA-IO command in the area.
“When it started, some soldiers when to attack villagers and after the commander ordered the arrest of those soldiers, they resisted it and they were backed up by a number of armed local youth and this is the start of the fighting which has just subsidized in the area,” the officer in Bentiu told Sudans Post.
The senior opposition officer who requested not to be named urged the locals in the area to cooperate with the authorities in Koch so that the criminals who .are deserting cantonment site are brought to book to avoid similar situation in the future which he said is impossible without thej cooperation from the locals.
“Some soldiers have abandoned the cantonment site due to floods, lack of necessary services such as food and medicine and are going to create insecurity among the civil population in the area and that is why there is need for the civil population to cooperate with the authorities,” he said.