This article was last updated on May 27, 2022
Malwal, speaking to Gurtong this morning, said that following the attack, the anti-government forces were repulsed by the South Sudan army (SPLA). Security sources have confirmed that heavy shelling targeted the SPLA base the night before the ground attack.
Commissioner Malwal said that despite the attack, government forces remain committed to the peace process which is underway in the Ethiopian capital.
“At the movement as the peace negotiation is in process in Addis Ababa, our position as the government [is that] we are committed for peace and ours is to be on the defensive positions as rebel violated the peace talks,” said Malwal.
The Commissioner continued, saying that whenever the rebels come, the SPLA defend themselves, adding that SPLA will not go out to search for them in the bush until both pro. and anti-government forces achieve peace through the talks mediated by Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
He said that, since they were told by the President to stop in Ayod, SPLA forces have respected the order so that peace can be achieved easily, “still this is our position and we will still be committed for peace and the rebels should respect the ongoing peace negotiation in Ethiopia.”
The state minister of Information, Hon. Judy Jonglei Bayoris, told Gurtong that the action of the anti-government forces in Ayod is a total violation of the CoH agreement. Bayoris called on IGAD to send a team back to Ayod for verification, to see how peace is being violated by the rebels, adding that IGAD should put pressure on the rebel side so that peace is respected.
Reports indicate that today’s Ayod incident is part of a co-ordinated series of attacks by SPLA/M-IO forces, with Bentiu reportedly under sustained fire at the time of going to press.