East Africa

SOUTH SUDAN: 61 Gov’t soldiers join Machar ahead of his highly anticipated return

Opposition forces allied to rebel leader Riek Machar said on Sunday 61 government soldiers defected and joined them in Akobo state.

According to a statement by the rebel deputy spokesperson Lam Paul Gabriel on Monday, rebel forces intercepted the movement of government troops dispatched to attack their defensive positions in Akobo town.

“The SPLA IO intercepted 61 armed regime’s fighters who were dispatched from Waat to attack Akobo and destabilize it. However, the fighters only armed with new AK-47 and 90 rounds of ammunition each decided to surrender to the SPLA IO without resistance,” the statement read in part.

Paul also claimed that 75 Prisoners of War detained by the government military intelligence were sent to reinforce government troops and attack rebel positions in Adar State. He further claimed there is increased movement of government soldiers in Kaya, Poki, and Morobo of Yei River State in recent weeks.

However, speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Monday, the army spokesman Lul Ruai Koang denied the allegations and termed them as mere propaganda.

“I am not aware of the occurrence of such development; they are just part of the propaganda of the rebels of Riek Machar. As far as I know, there are no soldiers I know defected to Riek and his group. If you are talking about their propaganda on the social media, I assure you those are white lies,” Ruai said.

 

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