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KOROK WEST - 23 Aug 2019

Army captures senior rebel commander in Lol State

Government forces captured a senior commander of Paul Malong's rebel group South Sudan United Front (SSUF) after a fight in Lol State on Wednesday, a local official said.

Anei Anei Juac, Minister of Information in Lol State, told Radio Tamazuj Friday that Major General Kuol Athuai Hal was captured with other rebel fighters after clashes with government troops at Wanh-Achien area of Korok West County.

 “Major General Kuol Athuai was the commander of the rebel fighters who launched the attack. Kuol was captured alive after being shot in the clashes,” Anei said.

The government official disclosed that the captives have been transferred to the army’s base at Wunyiik area.

Separately, Anei revealed that a commander with the rank of major in the army was killed in the clashes.” Major Garang Yai was killed in the clashes that erupted at Wanh-Achien. He was the military commander of Wanh-Achien area,” he said.

On its part, the rebel group South Sudan United Front confirmed that its senior commander Kuol Athuai had been captured after a fight in Lol State.

"Kuol was captured in the clashes but he was not injured. He is now with the commissioner of the area," said Sunday de John, the official spokesman of the rebel group.

“Major General Kuol Athuai was captured together with his bodyguard and Major Garang Nyong," he added.

Malong's rebel group is not part of the September 2018 peace deal.