20 Oct 2021

 

Fighting Erupts In Malakal Town Between Government And General Olony’s Forces

Heavy fighting has erupted in Upper Nile state capital Malakal between forces loyal to General Johnson Olony and government forces under the state Governor Simon Kun Puoch.

By James Deng Dimo and Ariik Atekdit

WAU, April 22, 2015 [Gurtong] - Reports from the ground say a bodyguard of Governor Kun Puoch, two officers from General Olony side were killed in the incident and a high ranking officer was wounded.

The fighting which started on Tuesday continued until this morning, between Kun’s guards and forces loyal to Olony.

The Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports, Gatluak Liphoth Dieu who is also the acting Minister for Information confirmed the incident to the media.

“Some soldiers attacked the gubernatorial guards in Malakal on Tuesday, evening. The guards were taking their colleague who was sick to hospital. They were stopped and prevented by Olony’s group not to take the person to the hospital. And immediately when the guards turned their car back, they were shot at. Two guards were killed and two more were injured and the car was captured. This resulted into the fight that lasted until midnight,” Gatluak stated.

Government officials have evacuated from their headquarters and are now stationed at Gia’da, the military headquarters situated near to the center of town south east of Malakal.

“The Olony group has withdrawn to the west of the White Nile River, at the areas of Lelo and fighting is still ongoing in those ends. They are also shelling the town and that is why we have evacuated the centre,” Gatluak said.

Tension started building up in Upper Nile State since the beginning of April when clashes occurred between the Shilluk ethnic group of Fashoda with their neighbouring Dinka Dongjol of Akoka County in which a military General allied to Johnson Olony was mistakenly killed with 13 other officers.

Gen. Johnson Olony has been fighting alongside the government forces against the opposition fighters of Dr Riek Machar since the conflict began in the region.

Residents have sought to run for refuge at the UNMISS camp fearing for their lives.


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