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Civilians displaced as SSPDF and SPLA-IO clash in Leer County

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Photo: Civilians in Leer seen in this picture fleeing the town after SSPDF and SPLA-IO clash Tuesday Morning, Nov. 28, 2023 - Courtesy

Fresh clashes broke out on 28 November between SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces in Leer County in Unity State, prompting civilians to flee their homes.

A resident of Leer town whose name Eye Radio withheld has revealed that fighting broke out early this morning between SPLA-IO and the SSPDF forces in the area.

Gatluak, not his real name said, the clashes started at Kaigai village as early as 4:00 in the town of Leer.

It later spread to the Piliny area.

Gatluak says civilians have been forced to flee their homes.

“We talk to the relatives that have fled to the bushes and in the swampy areas, others have managed to make it to this side of the government control, and then yes, all the people are fleeing in the county,” Galuak told Eye Radio.

There are no reports of casualties yet.

When contacted by Eye Radio for confirmation, the spokesperson of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces Major General Lul Ruai requested more time to consult with the Chief Defense Forces first.

However, the spokesperson of the SPLA-IO, Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel wrote on his X, formerly known as Twitter blaming the attack on the SSPDF General in the area.

“General Maguek backed by the SSPDF based in Leer attacked the SPLA-IO base of Kaigai,” Col. Lam posted on his X.

Early last weekLeer County Commissioner in Unity State Stephen Taker Riek told Eye Radio he contained tension in the area after armed groups reportedly amassed in neighbouring Mir-Mir Payam of Koch County.

He said the buildup of government forces and armed groups, as well as SPLA-IO combatants, caused panic in the area, forcing hundreds of the locals to flee their homes.

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