In an interview with the New Sudan Vision, Colonel Philip Aguer Panyang has revealed that the SPLA in Jonglei State has advanced from Gadiang to within few kilometres of Ayod, the administrative capital of Ayod County. The SPLA spokesman dismissed rebel claims of complete control over Duk County and advance on Bor. At the time of interview he said, “there is fighting in Duk. Rebels have held Pajut for one week but there is fighting [all over Duk County].” Colonel Aguer said that SPLA has repulsed majority of rebel forces in the county or were still fighting but stressed that there was NO significant risk of rebels advancing to Bor. “Gadiang is still in our hand. How will they [rebels] advance to Bor yet they have not dislodged our forces in Gadiang? As I speak with you [LTGEN] Malual Ayom [the overall SPLA Commander in Jonglei Theatre of Operations] is just outside Ayod.” Colonel Aguer indicated that it was just a matter of time before SPLA captures Ayod as fighting was raging in Pakwai Deng near Ayod.
Commenting on the situation in Unity State and accusations, that SPLA had destroyed bridges to slow down the rebel advance, Colonel Aguer said, “The SPLA did not blow up any bridges in Unity State. We [the SPLA] did not blow up the bridge in Abiemnhom. It is not true. It is illogical. It is our only link to Bahr el Ghazal, where we get our supplies. How can we do that? We intend to take Bentiu soon. The bridge in Abiemnhom is intact.” Col. Aguer accused the rebels and the Sudan Armed Forces of destroying other bridges. “It is them [the rebels] and Jallaba [Sudanese forces] that have been destroying bridges. If you remember the one in Rubkona and many others in Unity State. We repaired them when we retook Bentiu last time.”
Asked to comment about rebel claims of advances in Mayom towards Warrap, Col. Aguer said, “we voluntarily withdrew from Mayom after ration shortages without a fight but now we have returned and we are fighting.” He also said that SPLA was still in control of all essential oil infrastructures. Meanwhile authorities in Warrap State have reported influx of thousands of civilians from Unity State into Twic (West) County. The county officials say that many of the civilians are weary and traumatized after escaping the violence.
As NSV writes this, there are incoming reports of more fighting in Duk Payuel, which shall be clarified later as events transpire.
(Copyright 2014. New Sudan Vision)
The NSV was able to confirm from the commanders on ground that SPLA took control of Ayod while civilian sources in Duk confirmed the rebels occupied Poktap this morning and Patunoi in Duk county. The SPLA appears to not have adequately secured their flanks. Panick has spreaded through much of Twic East County and many civilians have started to desert their homes.