Rebel factions trade accusations over attack in Tonga

By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei

Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) Kitgwang declaration under Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual and SPLM/A-IO under Dr. Riek Machar have traded accusations over attack in Tonga Payam of Upper Nile State.

The Military Spokesperson for SPLM/A-IO Kitgwang declaration Alfred Gach Thot wrote in his Facebook wall accusing the SPLA-IO under Dr. Riek Machar of attacking their bases.

“This morning on 5th 12, 2022 at 5.00AM, the SPLA-IO none unified forces of Riek Machar under the command of Jok Kuach in Phow has attacked the SPLA-IO Kitwang declaration military base in Tonja,” he alleged, adding that “the attackers were made to cross the river where they came from the SPLA-IO KD under the Command of Gen. Nhial Kuol,” Thot wrote.

However, The Military spokesperson of SPLM/A-IO Machar’s faction, Col. Lam Paul rubbished the accusation leveled on them.

He instead accused the Kitgwang military camp of Gen. Gatwech saying they were the ones that launched the attack and not the other way around.

“We did not join any operation with Kitwang instate they have even attacked our forces in Tonga,” Col. Lam responded to the allegation.

However, both the parties haven’t reported any causalities from both sides neither on the civilians.

Meanwhile, OCHA earlier reported that the escalation intensified and conflict in Tonga resulted to displacement of thousands of people across several areas between Malakal and Tonga.

In Upper Nile State, as of 21st August, 2022, rapid assessment estimated that 2,000 people fled from Tonga to Agunjuok, over 3,000 people fled to Abujop and further 2,000 people arrived to Adidyang (25 km from Malakal/40 minutes by boats).

OCHA said in Malakal, 298 people arrived at the Protection of Civilians (PoCs) sites.

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