South Sudan Army Clash with Rebels Leaves 20 Dead
[An Nahar] South Sudanese troops attacked a rebel base in the latest violence in troubled Jonglei state, killing at least 19 rebels for the loss of one soldier, officials said Wednesday.
Troops launched an attack on a base of rebel commander David Yau Yau on Monday, firing "rocket-propelled grenades and mortar shells," said army front man Philip Aguer.
"On the battleground 15 bodies of militia were killed during the attack, later another four were found in the grass," he added. "We lost one killed in action and four maimed....the militia have been chased away."
After losing out on a seat in April 2010 elections, Yau Yau rebelled against Juba's government, but accepted an amnesty in June 2011, a month before South Sudan won independence from Sudan after decades of civil war.
Yau Yau, a former theology scholar and civil servant who comes from the Murle ethnic group, later returned to rebellion in April.
Local estimates suggest Yau Yau commands between 50 to 300 men, according to the Small Arms Survey, although other analysts suggest that he can draw on as many as 3,000 youth at maximum strength.
The clash, in the Likwangole region of the isolated and swampy state, follows a rebel ambush in August, when at least 24 soldiers were killed.
South Sudan has repeatedly accused former civil war enemies in Khartoum of backing the rebellion, claims Sudan has rejected.
Posted by: Fred