3rd October 2022
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2 dead, 7 missing in renewed clashes involving rival Kitgwang factions

Author: Joice Evans | Published: Friday, August 5, 2022

Simon Gatwech and Johnson Olony, leaders of the SPLM-IO splinter group known as the Kitgwang faction. (Photo: Courtesy.)

The Commissioner of Panyikang County, in Upper Nile State calls for ceasefire between armed groups, following heavy fighting in the area, in recent days.

Commissioner Mustafa Gai Lual said rival forces loyal to leaders of the Kitgwang splinter group, General Simon Gatwech Dual and General Johnson Olony have been engaged in fierce fighting leading to civilian casualties.

“On July 20th, fighting broke between these forces of Agwelek and those under Simon Gatwech and the 1st of August, there was another conflict that erupted, the group came once more attacked the Agwelek forces there,” the Commissioner said.

But, Eye Radio could not verify the accusations of offensive by the forces of General Gatwech.

Malual told Eye Radio on Friday, that at least two civilians were killed and seven others are unaccounted for, in the latest fighting which took in Tunga area early this week.

“I received report on the ground at Tonja that there were casualties from civilian side that two hunters were killed and seven other citizens went missing. There are not found up to now.”

The Commissioner appealed for cessation of hostilities between the rivaling groups to allow for free movement of ordinary citizens who have been unable to move due to the fighting.

“We call on our brothers at Tunger payam to sit down and solve the conflict between them. As always, when there is war or conflict between soldiers, ordinary citizens are the ones who suffer,” he said.

The leaders of the SPLM-IO splinter group, Simon Gatwech and Johnson Olony, had fallen out in the recent months, shortly after signing an agreement with the government in Sudan.

In June, the SPLM-IG and the holdout Kit-Gwang-Agwelek forces said they have started implementing the security arrangements.

General John Odhong, who headed a delegation of SSPDF to Manyo County of Upper Nile said the integration of the opposition forces started.

However, General Gatwech, the former SPLA-IO Kitgwang leader expressed doubts over the process.

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