South Sudan’s army has beefed up security along the 125 km Juba-Nimule road in the wake of Monday’s violent attacks on three buses bound for the Ugandan border by rebels led by ousted First Vice President Riek Machar.
Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) spokesman Brigadier Lul Ruai Koang told China’s Xinhua news agency in Juba that the attack by some elements of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-IO (SPLA-IO) rebels left a sizable number of the wounded with no reported death.
“We are suspecting some elements loyal to the SPLA-IO. I am sure of only two wounded from the two buses that were headed to Nimule,” Koang told Xinhua.
The buses that included Eco-bus, Gateway and Friendship were hit by rocket propelled grenade (RPG) before the armed gunmen looted property and other valuable from their terrified victims.
This came after unknown gunmen at the weekend attacked vehicles along the Juba-Yei road some 78 miles southwest of the capital Juba that left over 21 people killed.
The Juba-Nimule road has come under attack from unknown gunmen the government claimed were under the leadership renegade Brigadier General Martin Kenyi allied to SPLA-IO and operating along Magwi in Eastern Equatoria region.
“The road (Juba-Nimule) is being patrolled by security forces. The situation has been brought under control,” Koang revealed.
“We want to ensure that the road is safe for travelers and we are doing this in collaboration with local leaders in the area.”
After the recent July renewed fighting between the warring parties in the country that dented the fragile peace deal signed last August, conflict has spread to the hitherto peaceful Equatoria region in areas like Yei, Morobo and Lainya.