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Agwelek refutes claims on build-up of fighters in Upper Nile

Author: Elsheikh Chol | Published: Thursday, February 2, 2023

General Johnson Olony, leader of the Agwelek forces. | File photo/ International Crisis Group.

A report by the UN mission in South Sudan, suggesting a build-up of the Agwelek forces in the Upper Nile state, is untrue, the deputy commander of Agwelek has said.

The statement comes a day after the UN mission raised concerns over the reported build-up of the Agwelek forces in the Upper Nile state in the past few days.

The Troika also expressed concerns about reports of preparations for renewed fighting in the state.

According to UNMISS, the buildup of forces might pose security threats to civilians and affect humanitarian operations in Upper Nile and Northern Jonglei.

The UN Mission called on the country’s leaders to prevent further escalation of tensions in the Upper Nile region.

In response, the second in Command of the Agwelek forces, General Paromi Angui Otein denied the reports saying that the group did not conduct build-up in the area.

According to him, the forces are confined to their military bases in areas north of Jonglei State.

“We have forces in the Upper Nile. It is not a new thing that has been created these days. We have had forces and basses in Atar. We have bases in Pakowar, and Tonja is not a new location for us,” said Gen. Paromi.

“There are no new forces, it is just us who have been here. The report that the UN talked about is the report of the people of Jonglei.”

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