Africa-Press – South-Sudan. SPLA-IO forces and pro-government troops traded accusations over fighting in Guit County of Unity State on Saturday morning.
Major Yai Pazale, the SPLA-IO’s Sector Two Information Officer, told Radio Tamazuj that Lt. Gen. Maguek Gai’s militia forces that aligned with the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) attacked their base in Guit County. He pointed out that the attack occurred at around 8 am.
“The fighting began at 8:00 am and concluded at around 9:00 am, lasting for one hour. Simon Maguek’s forces were repulsed after attempting to take over Guit County. The exact number of casualties remains unclear,” he said.
For his part, Lt. Gen. Simon Maguek Gai, who defected from the SPLA-IO in the past few months, confirmed the fighting in Guit County yesterday.
Maguek denied claims that his forces launched attacks on SPLA-IO troops in Guit County. Instead, he accused the SPLA-IO forces of attacking their positions. “My forces were attacked while collecting wood to build their shelters in Guit town,” he said. “I talked to the commander on the ground to stop fighting.”
Both sides clashed in Leer County last Tuesday, where civilians were displaced.
Seven months ago, Lt. Gen. Simon Maguek Gai defected from the SPLA-IO led by First Vice President Riek Machar and joined the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) led by President Salva Kiir. He was warmly received at the SPLM office in Juba by senior SPLM party officials.