We want him dead or alive: Gov’t declares war on rebel leader, Buay

We want him dead or alive: Gov’t declares war on rebel leader, Buay
The aftermath of the attack in Mayom County that claimed 13 lives.

The government has declared an all-out war on former Army General Stephen Buay and his forces.

This is even as South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) claimed that they have neutralised 65 forces loyal to Buay, in a retaliatory attack, following last week’s killing of the Mayom County Commissioner, and 11 others.

In Unity State, where Buay forces have killed dozens this week alone, Governor Joseph Nguen Manytuil said that he is wanted-“dead or alive.” 

The SSPDF promised to weed the rebels out of the area through “surgical and offensive operations.” 

On the radar of government forces will be Lt. Gen. Gui Muchack, whom SSPDF described as the “spiritual leader” of the rebel forces; Maj. Gen. Gatluak Majok and their subordinates.

On July 22, 2022, bandits loyal to Buay allegedly infiltrated Mayom town in a morning attack. They killed the county commissioner, Chuol Gatluak Manime.

Mamine is the brother of Tut Gatluak, the Presidential Advisor on National Security Affairs.

Four days later, on July 26, 2022, the same rebels ambushed a three-vehicle convoy of SSPDF and killed scores of servicemen along with two civilians.

A day later, on July 27, an SSPDF mobile infantry unit attacked bandits’ hideouts at Manyang, Kuerdet and Bonwier.

Response to attacks

SSPDF claimed that they neutralised 65 soldiers from the operation and recovered 9 AKM-47 assault rifles.

“It is good to point out, ranks and file of Buay’s outfit comprises a few disgruntled former servicemen,” SSPDF said in a statement seen by The City Review.

The SSPDF revealed that the rebels operate between Twic and Mayom counties in Warrap and Unity states respectively.

On Monday, Buay, who is the Commander-In-Chief of the South Sudan People’s Movement/Army (SSPM/A), warned foreign oil workers to leave the area. They also advised commercial planes to keep off the airspace around Unity State.

But SSPDF laughed off the ‘order’ adding that the rebels cannot bring down a plane.

“That commercial nights should continue with their normal operations since rebels operating in and around Mayom cannot shoot down aircraft,” read a statement by SSPDF.

The SSPDF further denied media reports that top army commanders were arrested following the attacks.

“Allegations that Maj. Gen. Karibeno Ruai Tap, Commander of 4th Infantry Division, Brig. Gen. Kugar Yar, Military Intelligence Chief and Brig, Gen. Chabak Machiek Gutpun, Commander of 11th, Infantry Brigade, were arrested in Mayom and flown to Juba, which is untrue,” added a statement by Maj. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, Director for Media & Press and SSPDF Spokesman.

According to SSPDF, the four came to Juba to submit a situational report and for further consultation with the command.

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