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Heavy fighting erupts in South Sudan’s Fangak state: sources

November 21, 2017 (JUBA) – Heavy fighting erupted in Fanjak, one of South Sudan’s newly-created states when pro-government troops launched offensives against rebels, eyewitnesses said.

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South Sudan’s army soldiers drive in a truck on the frontline in Panakuach, Unity state April 24, 2012. (Reuters Photo)

The press secretary of the rebel-appointed governor of Phow state, Khan Rom claimed pro-government troops attacked their positions, violating the recently declared unilateral ceasefire.

The rebel official further said attempts by pro-government forces to capture Wau county, a rebel-controlled territory failed.

“The negative forces were then instantly repulsed badly and destroyed by Division 7 forces in Wau where the enemy incurred heavy loses,” he told Sudan Tribune Tuesday.

A source in Fangak state also confirmed the fighting in Ayod county between government and opposition forces, during which dozens of those wounded were rushed to Akobo area for treatment.

However, the spokesperson for the South Sudanese army, Lul Ruai Koang, denied reports that fighting took place, insisting Wau area in Fangak is under their control.

A legislator representing Ayod area at the national legislative assembly in Juba confirmed that there had been fighting in the area for the past days between government and opposition forces.

He claimed area officials are divided on the manner in which opposition forces allied to the Juba government under First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai and elements within government troops were frustrating efforts to reach community members outside the government control areas to participate in the national dialogue process.

“We have been telling Taban and his group that what they are doing was helpful. It is frustrating community initiatives and efforts to reach those outside the government controlled areas to participate in the national dialogue,” the lawmaker, who preferred anonymity, told Sudan Tribune.

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He further added, “Now those who were sent by the community to deliver peace messages have been cut to the other side by this renewed military activities and we do not know what happened to them now. We have lost communication with them”.

South Sudan gained independence in 2011, but descended into a civil war in 2013, resulting in the displacement of over 2 million people from their homes while tens of thousands have been killed.



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