Tuesday December 12, 2017

South Sudan Rebel Downed the Helicopter Gunship, Second Chopper not Confirmed


MALAKAL – As more defections rocked Juba – Faction under General Salva Kiir, Kiir’s Chief of Staff, Gen Paul Malong Awan rushed to Uganda for help.

Chief of staff, Gen Paul Malong Awan on Friday met with President Yoweri Museveni on the backdrop of the escalating situation in the volatile Upper Nile region.

Malong according to the source asked Museveni for more Helicopter gunships to “clear the rebels controlling Malakal who are also advancing to other areas of significant interest to Juba”

“Malong was bringing with him a letter from H.E. President Kiir asking the President (Museveni) for more support especially on the area of air force. Gen Malong also came to follow up on previously agreed purchase of military equipment” – A presidency source revealed without elaborating further.

According to the statement seen by The Upper Nile Times, Deputy Spokesperson SPLA/In-opposition, Dickson Gatluak Jock Nyuot said, “SPLA-IO forces have shot down the Ugandan gunship which carried out bombardment on our positions in Kodok town near Malakal. The warplane confirmed to be one of those helicopters brought from Uganda to assist South Sudan army (SPLA) to fight against SPLA/IO forces. About 5 civilians killed, one health facility destroyed this morning when an aerial bombardment was carried out by government plane in Kodok.”

All the crew members, pilot as well as co-pilot on board confirmed dead according to our field commander general Carlo Kuol, said deputy Spokesperson of the movement.

On separate development, James Gatdet Dak, “Our gallant forces shot down a helicopter gunship on Sunday which came to bomb our troops that have controlled Malakal town since Saturday,” James Gatdet Dak, the spokesperson for South Sudan’s rebel leader, told to the reporters on Sunday.

The overall command in Upper Nile State, Major General Johnson Olony added, “It was downed at 4:10pm by our forces.”

However, the spokesperson for Uganda’s People Defense Forces (UPDF), Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda had dismissed the claims saying that their helicopter is brought down by bad weather in the Upper Nile State.

This is not the first time the South Sudan rebel shot down the Ugandan helicopter gunship, on February 7, 2014 the South Sudanese rebels shot down the attacker helicopter from Uganda inside Jonglei, State, South Sudan.


Philip Gual

An Upper Nile State correspondent for The Upper Nile Times. He currently resides in Malakal, Upper Nile State.

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