PAGAK – South Sudan forces attacked several villages in Adar state killing 14 people and injured 37 others.
On Thursday, hundreds of heavily armed government forces penetrated through the thick forests of Thoch with little resistance sending unarmed civilians
in disarray while on a shooting spree.
The forces with 4 pick up trucks aided by militias (believed to have come from Nasir) then advanced to Kuey, Biot and then to Dutjion where they engaged with
youths in a dog fight that lasted hours before SPLMIO’s reinforcement arrived in the midday on Thursday.
According to an IO officer who gave his name as Chol Yiech, the government forces killed 10 of the 14 civilians in 3 adjacent villages and 4 others in the confrontation with the youths in Biot.
“The fight was a surprising one. the civilians were not armed and were going about their activities as usual when the surprise attack happened. But we responded as we heard the attack earlier in the morning and reached the place on time. As far as we know, only 14 civilians were killed but there are a lot of injuries amounting to at least 37. The attackers as well have been killed. I think most of them were killed because they were planked in 4 directions. Our IO came through their back via Torbaar to make sure that no one escape.”– Yiech said.
Ceasefire is dead
According to Gen Khor Chuol Giet, the lead operational commander responding to the attack in Khor Machar area, the government has been planning this route for a long time.
“Salva Kiir forces have been planning this attack for a long time because they were frustrated in Mathiang routes where they face a lot of resistance from our forces. so they thought if they come this way, they would be able to get to Pagak, which is laughable because our forces are equipped enough to defend civilians from his tribal soldiers who are incapable of direct fighting. we taught them a very good lesson and humiliated them here in Khor Machar. some of them are maybe floating on the river now. we are confident that none of them made it alive. we have cleared them all.” – Gen Khor
asked if this signals the end of ceasefire, Gen Khor said:
“what ceasefire are you talking about? ceasefire was dead since the juba regime announced it. they were the ones on attack not IO. we respond in defense just like what we did in Yei weeks ago. we will always defend civilians and humiliate their forces like now since they are ill trained tribal army.” – Gen Giet said.
Gen Khor also rubbished claims by the regime governors of the area that the fighting was nothing but cattle rustling between sections of Gatjiiok on Gatjaak.
“No no nothing like this. how can cattle raiders wear government uniforms and drive 4 trucks, to pick up cattle with them? there are no cattle raiders anywhere in South Sudan that owns PKM and RPGs only government forces. Gatjaak and Gatjiok have no problems among themselves and will never have problems. the so called governors are the one sending their troops to attack and kill the civilians. we know this. we will always respond in kind when these things happen. we cannot allow an ethnic agenda perpetuated by JCE (jieng councile of elders) through these fake governors come to us.”- Khor added
The attack is one of the latest violations by the government since the unilateral ceasefire declared Salva Kiir last month.
THE UPPER NILE TIMES