At least two soldiers from South Sudan People’s Defense Forces were reportedly killed on Tuesday in a surprise attack by armed youth at Majak Kol barrack.
The troops are part of a unit deployed between Abyei and Twic as a buffer zone to stop a further violent confrontation between the two neighboring communities.
An official from the Abyei Administrative Area says the attack on the military barrack is believed to have not been deliberate. The armed youth were pursuing armed men who attacked one of the villages, called Mayom Ngok.
Ajak Deng, director of information in the Abyei administrative area, told Mayardit FM that the attack at the army barrack was a continuation of fighting at Mayom Ngok, a place close to Majak Kol.
Deng appealed for calm on both side and allowed the government to establish the cause of this incident. “This is South Sudan people defense forces are there to prevent further violent clashes, and the armed youth have been urged to cease fighting,” he said.
The head of the Majak Kol military barrack in Twic County, Warrap state, said he doesn’t know why armed youth attack their position.
Maj. Mangong Manyual said he suspected the group that attacked his forces at the barrack could have come from Abyei administrative area – claimed Mayardit 90.7 FM has yet to verify independently.
Maj. Manyual called on the authorities in Abyei to investigate the incident and establish the motive behind the attack without provocation.
Manyual said the army is neutral in the ongoing conflict between Twic and Ngok communities, and the forces were deployed to prevent violence between the two communities.
“I am asking why they are targeting us, yet we are not part of the conflict. I am urging the government to investigate why these people attacked us,” Maj. Manyual told Mayardit FM.
He said the two soldiers who lost their lives had been identified as corporal Yor Biar 30 and and private Duang Nyinkuany,40 years old. The other soldier that got injured was corporal Malual Malith, age 30.
The attack at Majak Kol is the second following last week’s incident, where suspected gunmen killed two soldiers and took their weapons in Bombil military unit in Ajak Kuac Payam of Twic county Warrap state.