The South Sudan government forces have killed the rebel SPLA-IO commander in an attack in Yei County.
Major Felix Likambo Faustino the base commander for Yankonye was reportedly killed today (Monday) morning when the government forces launched a surprise attack on the base, also injuring another rebel.
Lt. Col. Gabriel Lam Paul has confirmed the killing, saying it’s a total violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement.
“This morning at about 6:00 am, SPLA moved out of their trenches in Yei town and attacked SPLA-IO bases at Yankonye (5 miles Yei-Maridi road) and at harvesters (3 miles Yei-Maridi road.) and killed our base commander Maj. Felix Likambo Faustino which attack left one soldier wouned. The fighting spread to the internally displaced population causing more displacements of civilians,” he said.
Lt. Col Lam said during the attack, the SPLA IO withdrew tactically to avoid civilian casualties due to crossfire.
“This is an act of provocation and aggression from the regime despite the signed cessation of hostilities agreement signed on December 21, 2017,” he added.
He said the regime has been airlifting troops and military logistics to Pagak since Sunday (February 25, 2018) in preparation to launch coordinated attacks on SPLA IO bases in and around Pagak and Nasir.
“Therefore, the letter of Maj. Gen Majier Deng Kur to Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) dated February, 2018 is just to cover up planned attacks on the SPLA IO positions,” he explained.
He warned that: “The SPLA IO forces are hereby directed to be alert at all fronts as the regime continues with its anti-peace campaign. We call upon the CTSAMM to investigate these activities as soon as possible. The resistance continues.”
Government is yet to respond to the claims of the offensive against the rebel positions.
The attacks are the latest in series the government forces have launched against the rebel positions as attempts are being made to salvage the already broken peace process.