Mayom Commissioner reportedly killed, new rebel group claims responsibility

Reports indicate that the Commissioner of Mayom County has been killed by a new rebel group this morning in Unity state.

Commissioner James Chuol Gatluak Manime was reportedly burnt in his house in Mayom town during the 2AM surprise attack on Friday.

Pictures circulating online show houses that have torched by the attackers. The Commissioner and some of his bodyguards are said to be missing.

An eyewitness who requested we withhold his name told Mayardit FM that they believe the Commissioner was killed with 2 of his bodyguards and 5 other government soldiers deployed in the area.

“They looted properties and have also taken some money from individual traders who were staying in the market. They just attacked the town but were repulsed. They situation is now normal only that people are mourning the death of the people who got killed,” he said.

He added that 11 people, including a girl have also been wounded in the attack.

So far, at least 5 houses in the Commissioner’s residence, and 4 vehicles were destroyed by the fire.

A new rebel group called South Sudan People’s Movement/South Sudan People’s Army has claimed responsibility for the attack. SSPM/SSPA is led by Stephen Buay Rolnyang, a former army General who was disgracefully dismissed by the SSPDF in 2019.

In a statement seen by The Radio Community, Buay alleged that his forces were responding to an earlier aggression by the SSPDF Commander in Mayom.

“The SSPDF Commander of 4th Infantry Division came to Mayom town, Unity state last week with intention to clear Mayom of SSPM/A forces and launched an attack on SSPM/A at Bong on July 21, 2022 – killing 1 SSPA soldier. The SSPA forces retaliated immediately by attacking and capturing Mayom this morning July 22, 2022 around 3AM,” the statement reads.

Buay, however, said he has directed his “forces to withdraw from Mayom to nearby villages where they shall be reorganize and conduct similar operations against military installations in Unity state, and parts of Warrap, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Raja.”

The SSPDF in Juba has just confirmed the attack and the demise of Commissioner James Chuol Gatluak Manime

Mayom County Commissioner James Chuol Gatluak is said to be the elder brother of Presidential Advisor on National Security, Tut Gatluak.

He was appointed Commissioner in 2021.