GAMBELLA – After a month long battle between the south Sudan forces and the opposition faction allied to Dr. Riek Machar on the border town of Maiwut and Pagak the headquarters of the Opposition, today the government soldiers have resorted to desert and handed over their military hardwires and began to register as refugees at the border. Some 510 soldiers have been reported to have already claimed refugee status as they fear that they would be repatriated back to Juba the capital.
Peter, a native of Pagak, stated that a fierce battle took place on Sunday and that led to the defeat of the government forces that took control of Maiwut before their fateful day. As they were chased and besieged in different directions, the only option the government forces under the command of Gov. Bol Ruach Rom took was to take refuge 5 km away from the main border bridge under the pretext that if followed, they would surrender all their military equipment which some have already done.
Now, that the besieged forces have no option but to surrender to Ethiopian authority or negotiate with the SPLA-IO to secure their safe exit from Taban/Kiir faction. This coming morning would mean the last defeat as Gen. Ochan Puot Buop and Gen. Khor Chuol Giet and the overall division have finally negotiated with the Ethiopian authority to end their mission if they refuse to surrender either to them or Ethiopian authority.
Those that have surrendered have been taken to Gambella, and possibly to their final destination if completely validated as refugees. Some sources indicated Gov. Bol Ruach Rom had fled to Ethiopian side; however, another resident by the name Simon, full name withheld for privacy purpose, stated that Bol Ruach himself and few others have not crossed the border. It is alleged that he prepares to surrender to SPLM-IO instead being registered as a refugee once again. Our correspondence will follow up on this development and will therefore keep you up to date with this information.
The violence has claimed more than hundreds of thousands and displaced over a million of people to neighboring countries. Last month, the Troika have talked about revitalization of the 2015 peace accord signed to bring about a lasting peace to south Sudan. This is also coupled with the arrival of the Rwandan contingent into the main capital Juba, and therefore, if considered, it will bring end to the four years violent conflict that has engulfed South Sudan as a whole. Stay tune!
THE UPPER NILE TIMES