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MAGENIS-Deadly clashes in Machar’s divided camps

By James Atem Kuir

Renewed clashes have resumed between SPLA-IO forces loyal to First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar and those under renegade General Simon Gatwech Dual in two unnamed areas outside Magenis,in the latest escalation tension within the main opposition group.

The Spokesperson of SPLA-IO loyal to Dr. Machar, Colonel Lam Paul Gabrieladmitted that their side started the fighting on Monday morning in responding to alleged series of attacks on their positions by the Kitgwang Faction led by Gen. Gatwech since last week.

”We have been receiving series of attacks from the Kitgwang faction from Friday, Saturday through Sunday… So this morning,our commander on the ground decided to attack their launching areas, capturing two places,” Col. Lam said.

The SPLA-IO faction under Gen. Gatwech, has also claimed control over their positions and alleged to have repulsed the attacking forces, according to statement by William Gatjiath Deng, the Spokesperson of the group.

Col. Lam said fighting had receded by Monday afternoon but said the Kitgwang faction was still shelling their positions and claimed they had killed two senior officers from Gen. Gatwech side.

The SPLA-IO in-fightin gerupted last month following heightened tension within the group after Lt. Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual, a former chief of staff,led a group of disgruntled generals and claimed to have deposed Dr. RiekMacharTenyas the leader of the movement.

Gen. Gatwech then declared himself the interim leader of the SPLM/SPLA-IO in a declaration made at Kitgwang/Meganis at South Sudan-Sudan borderon August 4, 2021.

Fierce clashes have since continue to erupt between the rivaling forces leading to the killing of scores from both sides, sparking concerns of breakdown instability by peace observers.

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