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HEAVY FIGHTING RESUMES IN WAAT, UPPER NILE WITH GOV'T FORCES TAKING HEAVY CAUSALITIES ACCORDING TO SPLA-IO SPOKESPERSON

Pagak, 3 oct 2017; On Tuesday, the South Sudan main armed opposition of SPLA-IO forces under the leadership of oust former Vice President Riek Machar, have announcement that since Sunday they have launch furious fighting in the town of Waat, in Upper Nile to dislodge the regime forces. The Military spokesperson of IO said the ongoing operation in Waat is a direct response to liberate the town from aggression, brutalities, provocation, abuses of human rights and to end the constant regime offensive from Waat to the bases of SPLA-IO. 

The SPLA (IO) operation to retake and free once and for all Waat from the ethnocentric Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) regime in Juba has been going on since Sunday October 01, 2017. The operation is an inalienable act of self-defense and a direct response to constant and consistent Juba regime offensive, aggression, provocation and human rights abuses in the area, since the collapse of the August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) in July 2016.  

The purpose of this operation is not only to secure Waat, stop further Juba regime advance and protect innocent civilians from the merciless brutalities, looting, rape and other egregious human rights abuses being committed by the ruthless Juba regime forces in the area, but also to secure and ensure conducive environment for civilian movements and humanitarian access to the suffering people in need of urgent protection, help, assistance and services.  

It is for this reason that the gallant and brave SPLA (IO) forces of Division Eight (8) under the command of Cdr Major General James Otong Liak and under the overall command of Sector II (2) Cdr Lieutenant General Mabor Dhol had warned Juba regime soldiers to vacate Waat within three months and allow the innocent civilian population to enjoy the peace it once enjoyed under SPLM-SPLA (IO) before Juba regime captured Waat and the nearby Yuai on April 14 and April 11, 2017 respectively, without being subjected to any form of intimidation, looting, rape, raids and killing, among others.  

Indeed, in the ongoing fighting in and around Waat, the brutal Juba regime has so far lost some two hundred (200) soldiers and another two hundred and ten (210) are believed to have been wounded and are languishing in the surrounding trenches without any access to food, water and medical attention.  

This morning Tuesday October 03, 2017 General Salva Kiir Mayardit personally ordered two planes of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to evacuate the notorious General Johnson Gony Beliew, his deputy Teah Gatjiak Wiek and some of the wounded Juba regime soldiers to Juba from Waat.  

Given the intensity and ferocity of the ongoing fighting in and around Waat, it could never have been possible for the two ICRC planes to either land or evacuate anyone, until the Juba regime forces are cleared and Waat is once again safe and secure for civilian movement, humanitarian access, landing and services. As a responsible Movement, we will keep the public updated on the situation in and around Waat.  

SSLN

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