Fighting erupted in Okwa, Pochalla County 5 dead, 4 wounded

June 05, 2022 (GCDC) - Five people were killed and four others injured in fighting involving a group of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) soldiers and local youths in Pochalla County on June 02, 2022, Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA), authorities said.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, Owety Olung, the Pochalla acting county commissioner, said the clashes erupted when a group of SSPDF soldiers allegedly attacked Okwa village.

“What happened was that at 3 pm Okwa village, Awetaballa Payam, was attacked,” Owety said. “Those attackers are elements from the SSPDF based in Raat. We cannot accuse the whole army because it was only those from Pibor led by an army commander from Pibor.”

He added, “On the side of the local youths, four were injured and four bodies of the attackers were found. The area is now calm after the attackers were repulsed.”

The local official called on the national government to investigate the incident.

Col. Joseph Okony Okuom, the army commander in Pochalla, also confirmed the incident.

“Yes, those clashes erupted. We do not know the number of soldiers killed. From the side of the villagers, three youth were injured and another one succumbed to his wounds.”     

For his part, Longony Alston, the Jebel Boma County commissioner, confirmed the incident and contradicted the Pochalla official’s version of events, saying an armed Anywaa youth group initiated the clashes.

Meanwhile, Gen. Lul Ruai, the SSPDF spokesperson, said he was yet to receive details about the incident.  Source: TMJ