S.Sudan rebels threaten Warrap state, call for evacuation
Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:17pm GMT
(Adds rebel comments, background)
JUBA Oct 29 (Reuters) - A rebel group in South Sudan threatened on Saturday
to attack remote Warrap state to bring down the local government and called
on the United Nations and residents to leave within three days.
The South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) said it would turn its attention to
Warrap state after earlier attacking Mayom town in neighbouring Unity state,
also on the border of Sudan.
"Within few days, the people of Warrap will be liberated from abject
poverty, corruption and abuse of human rights," it said in a statement.
"We would also advise the civilians to evacuate all towns and move to
villages in order to be safe," it said.
There was no reaction from the United Nations which runs large humanitarian
operations and food deliveries in South Sudan.
South Sudan became independent in July after a 2005 peace deal with Khartoum
that ended decades of civil war, but the new nation has been struggling to
end tribal and rebel violence that has killed around 3,000 people this year.
Several militias are fighting the army in remote parts of the country.
Officials in South Sudan said earlier on Saturday the SSLA had killed 15
people, including nine soldiers, and wounded 18 when attacking Mayom in the
morning. The town lies in the west of Unity state bordering Warrap state.
"We got attacked in Mayom town today by the militias from 6 to 7 a.m. The
militia attacked the town, killed 15 and wounded 18," Unity state
Information Minister Gideon Gatpan Thoar said. "More than 60 militiamen were
Army spokesman Philip Aguer said: "It was indiscriminate, they didn't
differentiate between civilians and the army. The killing included a
Aguer said Mayom was now under army control but the SSLA rejected that,
adding in its statement: "Within four hours, SSLA forces also managed to
capture Tomor town and they are now advancing towards Bentiu town."
Analysts say the SSLA is a loose umbrella of militias with no clear
political agenda. In a statement on Friday, the SSLA accused the Unity state
government of human rights abuses and confiscating cattle.
South Sudan officials accuse Khartoum of supporting militias but the north
denies this, and many rebels say they are fighting against what they see as
corruption and ethnic discrimination in the south's government, charges Juba
President Salva Kiir has had little success with several amnesty offers to
rebels. Violence in remote parts of the African country is hard to verify as
a lack of infrastructure makes access difficult for journalists and aid
agencies. (Reporting by Hereward Holland; Writing by Ulf Laessing)
C Thomson Reuters 2011 All rights reserved
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Received on Sun Oct 30 2011 - 18:23:34 EDT