National News

Seven killed in Yei clash

David Lokonga Moses, Governor of Yei River State (File Photo)

BY David Mono Danga

Seven people have been killed and several others injured as a result of fighting between the government forces and rebels in Yei state on Monday, Governor David Lokonga Moses has confirmed.

Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, lokonga said the fighting started at around 4:30am when unknown person suspected to be a rebel fired a bullet at Teachers’ Training College residential area at Kegulu eventually resulting into a fight that left seven people dead.

“The fighting lasted for about an hour that left seven people dead; that is six soldiers and one civilian and six more soldiers were wounded,” Governor Lokonga told Juba Monitor on phone.

He said they were taken by surprise when the fighting broke out; we were busy negotiating for peace with the rebels in Kampala. “How can we be negotiating for peace and other rebels come and attack us?” the governor wondered.

Lokonga said the rebels loyal to former First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar are called “anti-peace”. He also dismissed the earlier reports on social media that there were over 30 casualties.

“These are rebels who ran together with Dr. Riek Machar from Juba last year and they are still in the bushes around Yei,” he said.

However, the governor said the situation in Yei town has normalized and the state government has embarked on the peace dialogue with the rebels to make sure peace returns to Yei.

He said the government is putting much effort to open the Yei-Kaya road, Moyo-Kajokeji road and Yei-Lasu road.

Augustino Kiri Gwolo, the Deputy Governor of Yei River state said rebels attacked government forces in Kegulu when the SPLA soldiers were firing random bullets prior to the celebration of the SPLA/SPLM Day.

There were shootings in Yei to celebrate the SPLA day on 16th May and as a result, some rebel elements took the opportunity to attack our forces in Kegulu but they were repulsed up to 10 miles away from Yei town,” he said.

“The SPLA were able to burn down three rebel bases along Yei–Lasu road,” Gwolo said.

Gwolo said before the attack Yei River state was calm as people were carrying on with their normal businesses, but said humanitarian needs is the only challenges facing the people in the area since the road connecting Yei to Uganda and Congo remains closed due to the ongoing conflict.

‘We can’t get food from outside since Kaya and Congo roads still remains closed, and because people didn’t cultivate in the second season last year, the few crops cultivated last year either got rotten in the gardens or got consumed by wild fire, therefore, leaving Yei in a dire humanitarian condition,” the deputy governor said.

However, attempt made by Juba Monitor to contact Yei River state military commander for comments proved futile.

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