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Tensions high amidst continued clashes in Upper Nile state


Following months of intercommunal violence, Upper Nile state has seen renewed tensions over a number of recent clashes between government forces.

Earlier this week, a SSPDF junior officer was killed while travelling from Nassir town to Koat, in Nassir county. The killing triggered a number of revenge attacks, culminating in a period of heavy fighting in the Kedbeck area.

Speaking to press, Executive Director for Nassir County Khor Gatluak confirmed that clashes had occurred near Nassir town, but could not provide further details.

'The two soldiers left for Koat because there is peace now in the country. Residents of Koat were not involved in the incident, it was caused by other people who came from another area to take revenge', Gatluak said.

Spokesmen for both the SPLM-IO and the SSPDF admit there was fighting in the area, but deny it was instigated by their respective forces.

This narrative continued in clashes seen in Liang, Nassir county, earlier today. SPLM-IO spokesman Brig. Gen. William Gatjiath Deng has claimed that his troops came under attack at a cantonment site in the county. This claim is denied by SSPDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Santo Domic, who has said SPLA-IO troops left their cantonment site to loot the local area.

Although the precise course of events remains unclear, the Joint Defence Board has pledged to address any misunderstanding between the two sides.

At present at least 5 people have reportedly died in the fighting, including a Sudanese national.

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