March 27, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Latest reports from the strategic town of Ayod, which has been contested for the last three days by the warring parties, confirmed that South Sudan government and Uganda troops have incurred one of the major consualties since the outbreak of conflict in December, 2013.
According to military sources of SPLA [in Opposition], the strategic town of Ayod was overran by the rebels today, 27th March, 2015, leaving massive destruction and trails of dead bodies all over the town.
Reached over a Satellite phone from Ayod county, Captain Gatwech Bol, who speaks for the opposition under the Military Governor, Maj. Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam, alleged that their forces have captured the major installations, including the airport, two government tanks, ammunition store full of military equipments, six pick-up trucks amounted with artillery, a “good number” of AK47 and many light weapons, a report that was also confirmed by the military Spokesman, Col. Lony T. Ngundeng.
“Today Our forces under the command of Major General Gabriel Duop Lam, made it through and capture more ammunition in the stores in a big quantity as well as two tanks which were found grounded or switch-off during the operation.” SPLA military Spokesman, Col Lony T. Ngundeng reiterated in a Press Release seen by our editorial team
The rebels, who could be heard ululating and chanting war songs over the phone, claim to have counted 189 bodies of South Sudanese and Ugandan origin in Ayod town centre, and 37 others in the past two days between Ayod and Bhol, where the major battles were fought before the government troops retreated to Ayod headquarters.
The armed Opposition alleged that a Ugandan warplane, hovering over the town while trying to reinforce the government troops, has narrowly escaped being gunned down in the late evening.
At around 3Am, South Sudan local time, the SPLA-IO source reiterated that the government troops and allied Ugandan mercenaries, which they claimed to have scattered in Palieth forest, a distance of about 30 minutes away from the town centre, might be regrouping for another encounter in the morning, however, the white armies are determined to fight on.
“Palieth is the only way out for these terrorists, but they will never escape. The forest has died down, no more hiding, at 5am we will get them one by one. We cleared those who ran towards Pulchuolchany and Kalibalek.” Captain Gatwech Bol emotionally stated.
According to Col. Lony T. Ngundeng, the military spokesman of SPLA [IO], the joint Operation that matched onto Ayod comprised of two units: a Local Defense Force under the umbrella of Gawaar-Nuer White Army, and SPLA-IO gallant forces under the overall command of Maj. Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam, the military governor of Phou State and former Minister of Law of Jonglei state.
“This morning the SPLA forces in a joint operation with local defense force or (LDF) manage to flash out the government forces in their position in Ayot, jonglei state.” Said Col, Lony, the Military spokesman of SPLA[IO].
Col. Lony believes that their forces were forced to recapture Ayod headquarters after the allied troops of President Salva Kiir tried to encroach their territories in search of food and territorial gains.
“The fighting had been on for the last three days since on Tuesday when government troops came out from their trenches to advance to our different locations…. But our gallant forces manage to capture the whole town today.” The SPLA spokesman confirmed.
The Spokesman is confident that their forces will maintain grasp of the strategic town of Ayod should they clear the pockets of Palieth forests since they have overwhelming support from the local population.
“Since Our forces already got degree of adoptability that allow them to go along with the environment that they live compare to the government forces who are being flown from different areas to greater Upper Nile with little knowledge about the map, ending up to get lost in the bushes during the operation which give our forces an advantage in the cost of fighting.” Ngundeng told Nyamilepedia Press over the phone from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
SPLA sources have further confirmed that the rebels have destroyed the barber wire fence that the government troops created to prevent their forces from fleeing the town.
In addition to barber wire fencing, the government troops are accused by the local population of having planted landmines in areas that surround Ayod headquarters.
The mines in Bhol area have reportedly inflicted many casualties, on both sides, in the last three days.
A Tough Road For The Ugandans in Rescue Mission
On the other hand, the “battled hardened” Ugandan People Defense Force (UPDF), launched in December 2013, to rescue Salva Kiir government in “four days” are struggling to rescue their colleagues, fifteen months later, in Ayod town, Jonglei state.
The warplane, believed to be Ugandan, has allegedly made three attempts to land in Ayod today but all in vain as rebel fighters claim to have attempt to shoot it down.
A well known Ugandan brigadier general, Brig Geoffrey Kakama, who has fought in Somalia, was killed here in Kuachdeng Payam of Ayod County, during the first seven days battle in April 2014 that ended with capturing of Ayod.
The government spokesman, Col. Philip Aguer, announced the heavy battle in Ayod on SSTV, however, he denies any defeat of his troops, saying that the loyal forces have repulsed the SPLA-IO forces.
According to Col. Aguer, the SPLA [Juba] has lost only three soldiers with 13 others sustaining wounds while the SPLA[IO] lost 54 fighters.
“in Jonglei the rebels of Riek Machar attacked Ayod on the morning of the 25th [March] at 0530 and the attack lasted an hour and a quarter before they withdrew leaving 54 bodies of their soldiers on the field and SPLA is [still] controlling Ayod.” Col. Philip Aguer said three days ago.
Latest attempt to reach Col. Philip Aguer to comment on the latest fighting have failed, however, other government sources revealed that the government has declared war to quilt rebellion before July 9th, 2015.
“The top Military Command of Friendly Forces to the National Army namely; … South Sudan Liberation Army and South Sudan Democratic Army in a Joint Command meeting resolved to totally crush Riek Machar’s Rebellion in Greater Upper Nile Region by 9th July 2015.” said an allied rebel Brig. general, Lul Ruai Koang, who now speaks for Salva Kiir government.
In his latest speech during a youth gathering in Juba, President Salva Kiir revealed that he has ordered the SPLA [Juba] to get out of trenches and pursue the rebels, reiterating that sanctions won’t prevent the fighting.
“I have been respecting you all this time and this time should Riek Machar come to attack my forces again, I will strike them and pursue them into their areas. And we will not stop. If sanctions will be imposed on South Sudan simply because we are fighting for our self-defence, we will do it” President Salva Kiir said.
The government troops in Ayod County, however, have been sandwiched in fenced garrisons in Ayod headquarters, leaving the opposition in control of more than 95% of the county.
In other reports, Ugandan troops have allegedly driven a convoy with 25 battle tanks and heavy weapons through West Nile road to Yei, South Sudan, a report that is yet to be verified by Nyamilepedia editorial team.