April 22, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Latest reports from Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile State, alleged that a militia group, formerly allied with Salva Kiir government, has taken control of major parts of Malakal town.
According to Peter Gatbel, who correspondences from Malakal, heavy fighting broke out among the government troops at 8pm last night and continued from approximately 5:45Am this morning.
Gatbel confirms that South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army under the warlord Maj. Gen. Johnson Olony has again defected the government forces, and attacked the Governor’s troops at Hai Jellaba, killing at least 7 soldiers and wounding many others on both sides.
Casualties of the today’s heavy fighting are yet to be confirmed, however, military sources confirmed that the government troops have lost their position at Hai Jellaba and Malakal airstrip.
According to Upper Nile State’s Minister of Information, war has escalated to Wau Shilluck and other parts of Chollo Kingdom as the Chollo dominated militias pursues the government forces on the Eastern Bank of the Nile.
Military sources from Malakal alleged that the Shilluck dominated SSDM/A accuses the State’s Governor, Simon Kun Puoch, of having played a role in the death of SSDM/A Deputy, Maj. Gen. James Obwogo Olew, who was killed in an ambush three weeks ago.
Government sources, however, indicate that the recent fighting is linked to land alienation in which the Chollo people holds responsible the Upper Nile State Governor, Simon Kun, a member of Nuer Ethnic group.
Earlier fighting in the state this month was mainly between the Dinka Padang youth and Chollo youth, however, the two sides accuse each other of having military supports from their generals who have been fighting mostly on one side since December 2013.
Maj. Gen. Olony defected Salva Kiir government after 2010 election but rejoined the government after accepting an amnesty in June 2013.
Despite that Olony’s forces have been integrated into SPLA-Juba forces , the warlord has continued recruiting, mostly children between the age of 12-15 years old, in his home towns in Upper Nile state allegedly to fence off rebellion.
For the last fifteen months Gen. Olony has fought on the government side, mostly in Malakal. He survives a major gun shot on his neck on 18th Feb, 2014 when the rebels overran the town.
Sources from Juba indicate that the government is holding an emergency meeting to intervene in Upper Nile crisis.
In other reports, within the last two days, two platoons have defected the government troops in Renk County and joined rebel forces at Amdalwech division.
The defecting troops were received by Brig. Gen. Peter Puok Kong and Brig. Gen. Peter Lim Bol of SPLM/SPLA[IO] at Amdalwech.