“whenever there is an attack from any side, the civilians will evacuate the town before the two sides clash”, said SPLM/SPLA Spokesperson Yohanis Musa Puok.
The deputy spokesperson of the SPLM/SPLM-in Opposition has denied allegations by the government Dr. Riek Machar’s forces killed civilians in churches and hospitals in Malakal last night.
Yohanis Musa told Eye Radio that Dr. Riek Machar’s forces control the whole of Malakal.
“Let every South Sudanese know this very well, in Malakal, whenever there is an attack from any side, the civilians will evacuate the town before the two sides clash. When our forces captured Malakal following clashes between both sides, the civilians had already left the town and took cover at UNMISS camps. And when we took the control of the town, there was no any civilian in the town. As such, there was no any civilian killed in Malakal. We have neither killed civilians nor did the other party kill civilians because the civilians had already left the town. As I told you whenever any side takes control of the town, the civilians flee”,Musa said.
The government of Upper Nile says civilians and Church leaders have fled Malakal town as fighting continues between forces loyal to former Vice-President Riek Machar and government forces.
The State Minister of Information, Philip Jiben Ogal, told Eye Radio that forces loyal to Dr. Machar have killed civilians in hospitals and churches.
He said civilians who had sought refuge in churches fled the town when the SPLA-in Opposition attacked Malakal:
“They are threatening and killing people in churches. They have killed some Church leaders. They have even killed a well-known engineer, one of the famous sound engineers at South Sudan Radio in Malakal”, he said.
The names of those who have been killed are not yet know, but what they have done is that they killed church leaders and forced people to flee the town. They have even forced the retired Bishop of the Catholic Church who resides at PALICA to leave the town and elders of the area have also moved out of Malakal.”
A man who had been hiding in a church before he fled quoted eyewitnesses as saying they had had seen people being killed in churches.
“Yes we have been scattered. According to people who escaped after me, they saw two persons killed at Christ the King Catholic Parish in Malakia. People who were hiding inside Saint Joseph Catholic Parish, some of them escaped but some of them are also missing and few who escaped managed to reach Di-Tang on the west bank of the Nile. Some people who were taking cover inside Malakal Teaching Hospital were also killed and few of them escaped and jumped into the river near Ray El-Massri residential area”, he said.
“This happened last evening and the situation has got worse, many people got killed and few have reached Wau Shilluk and there is no news about their whereabouts, maybe we will hear about them later. As I speak now, the town is burning and I still hear gunshots around UNMISS camp. The attacking forces are the ones in control of the town now as the government soldiers have crossed to the west bank of the River Nile. No army inside Malakal town”, he added.
Eye Radio contacted the military spokesperson of the SPLA-in Opposition, Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang, for technical reasons, he was not able to give us a reaction but we will hear from him in our following newscast.
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