Peacekeepers report heavy artillery exchanges in Leer
LEER (13 Oct.)

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) say that the warring parties in
Leer in Unity State have exchanged artillery fire. They are calling
for the parties to 'cease the rhetoric of incitement'.

A statement published by the mission's principal public information
officer yesterday on its website said, “UNMISS Force in Leer town have
reported heavy artillery and gunfire exchanges between SPLA and  SPLA
in Opposition leading to several reported deaths and the continued
displacement of the civilian population in the area into the bush and

The peacekeepers did not provide more information about the artillery exchange.

A spokesman for the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, which
oversees ceasefire monitors, did not yet respond to a request for
comment on the fighting in Leer and elsewhere.

Earlier, James Yoach, spokesman of the SPLA-IO faction in Unity State,
told Radio Tamazuj that they clashed with Salva Kiir’s forces in
Thonyor, Ding-ding and Mirnyal areas on Sunday afternoon.

He accused the government forces of attacking their positions in those
areas. Yoach claimed that they killed over 40 government soldiers
during the clashes, while admitting that about two soldiers were
killed and five others wounded from their side.

For his part, Brig. Lul Ruai Koang, spokesman of the SPLA, confirmed
the clashes in Unity state. However, he didn’t give further details
about the clashes.

The UN says it condemns “any calls for a return to the violence that
has plagued this country, and urges all parties to cease the rhetoric
of incitement, which is not the answer to South Sudan’s problems.”

UNMISS spokesperson added, “We encourage all parties to put the people
of South Sudan first, and work to bring an end to suffering of the
people of this country.”

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