BREAKING: Malakal Town Largely Deserted As Heavy Fighting Continues
Malakal, South Sudan,
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January 30, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —- The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) remains deeply concerned about the outbreak of fighting between the SPLA and SPLA in Opposition in and around Malakal town, and calls on the rival forces to cease fighting with immediate effect.
According to the latest UNMISS report, published three hours ago, Malakal town is heavily deserted due to heavy fighting and shelling in and around Malakal as of Sunday, January 29th, 2017.
UNMISS reports that situation remains tense in Malakal but its peacekeepers will continue to act within its capacity to protect South Sudanese civilians to prevent repeat of barbaric attacks on civilians as witnessed in Malakal in February 2016 and other major towns.
“UNMISS will continue to act within its capacity to protect South Sudanese civilians in imminent danger and calls on all parties to silence the guns to enable the movement of humanitarian aid and personnel to affected areas.” UNMISS report reads.
” Mission continues to patrol regularly in Malakal and reports that the town is largely deserted.” UNMISS report continues.
Although the SPLA-IO is currently sidelined from unprogressive peace implementation that is supported by UNMISS and other independent groups, the spokesman calls on the two warring factions to stop fighting immediately and return to Juba to implement peace agreement.
“The Mission reiterates its call on all parties to immediately cease hostilities and fully implement the peace agreement.” UNMISS Spokesman reiterates.
In Juba, the First Vice President Taban Deng Gai, who claims to control SPLM/SPLA(IO), is acting as the President while Salva Kiir attends the 28th Ordinary Session of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Taban who defected from the SPLM/SPLA(IO) in July 2016 to replace his former Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, has no power to order either of the two warring factions to stop fighting.
Although fighting resumed in multiple fronts on Wednesday in Upper Nile and continued up to now, Juba denies the outbreak of heavy fighting which fits Salva Kiir’s Dinka dominated SPLA-IG against Dr. Machar’s Nuer and Chollo dominated SPLA-IO in the oil rich Upper Nile.
Latest updates from the far northern Upper Nile indicate that there is fighting in Wadakona and Renk, the second major town after Malakal in Upper Nile region.