At least 12 killed in South Sudan's oil-rich state

  • World
  • Saturday, 23 Jul 2022

JUBA, July 22 (Xinhua) -- At least 12 soldiers were killed and 13 others wounded in South Sudan's northern oil-rich Unity State following a rebel attack in Mayom County Friday.

Lul Ruai Koang, the spokesperson of the South Sudan's People's Defense Force (SSPDF), said the deadly incident happened at 2 a.m. when rebel forces loyal to Stephen Buay, the opposition leader and head of the South Sudan People's Movement/Army attacked Mayom County headquarters, killing the County Commissioner James Chuol Gatluak, some of his family members and bodyguards.

Ruai said they have launched an investigation into the incident to bring the perpetrators to account.

"We deployed security forces on the ground collecting information as well as doing an investigation to ascertain exactly what happened and in regards to the attack, we have mobilized our security forces in the area and have started a manhunt for the attackers and they will pay a very heavy price for the crime they have committed," said Ruai.

The rebels had earlier claimed responsibility for the attack, accusing the SSPDF of first attacking their forces Thursday, which left one of their soldiers dead.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 following a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his then deputy Riek Machar leading soldiers loyal to the respective leaders to fight.

The conflict killed tens of thousands and displaced more than 2 million people both internally and externally.

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