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SSPDF, SPLM/A-IO trade accusations over renewed clashes in Unity State

By James Atem Kuir

The South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and the opposition group Sudan People’s Liberation Army- In Opposition(SPLA-IO) have yet again blamed each other for starting off fresh clashes in Mirmir Payam, Koch County, Unity State.

SSPDF Spokesperson Major General Lul Ruai Koang said SPLM/A-IO forces launched on Kitgwang forces loyal to General Simon Gatwich Dual who struck a peace deal with SSPDF in January this year, on Tuesday.

General Lul claimed the SPLM/A-IO forces killed 34 civilians when they took over MirmirPayam from the Kitgwang forces, a claim denied by the SPLM/A-IO’s Spokesman Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel.

Col. Lam also claimed that their forces were attacked first by the SSPDF forces. The opposition military leader also denied that there were forces of the Kitgwang group in the Mirmirsaying troops belonging to the SSPDF occupying the area.

The two rivals recently struck a power sharing deal in the Unified Command Structure, ending months of deadlocks that delayed the graduation of unified forces.

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