Tambura CRISIS: Heavy fighting explodes between SSPDF, SPLA-IO forces

South Sudan's government troops on patrol. Senior members of the government have been accused of serious human rights abuses during the civil warSouth Sudan's government troops on patrol. Senior members of the government have been accused of serious human rights abuses during the civil war
With tensions rising high, the UNMISS Force Commander, Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, has however pledge that peacekeepers will continue to protect civilians in the area for a reasonable time.
More than 21, 000 people mainly women and children displaced by the conflict said to be in dire need of shelter, food, water and other assistance.
On Monday, heavy fighting sprouted between South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) forces led by First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny resulting in the killing of several civilians and service members, several fleeing residents including SPLA-IO.
The fighting started a few kilometers away from Tambura town in a village housing SPLA-IO forces, but the frontline deteriorated into the town in the afternoon after forces of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces led by former SPLA-IO commander General James Nando were allegedly outnumbered by the SPLA-IO forces who were being accommodated in the village.
 Authorities were unable to provide medical assistance to many people who are said to be wounded and still inside the town. For now, the much needed medical help cant be provided because  there are still pockets of gunfire in the town. Currently the situation is not even clear as to who is in control of the security situation because gunshots as of this night are still there.
The area needs urgent attention and commitment from all parties involved to rescue these challenging events. Once peace prevails, development can’t be inevitable from happening. Every wave of violence trigger a huge burden on the humanitarian organizations and peacekeepers in the greater Tambura area.
Last week, the current situation in Tambura triggered wider concerns from the international body United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) especially on the violence against women, girls and children. The international agency is deeply worried and concerned about the safety and wellbeing of children and other vulnerable people amidst conflict in the greater Tambura area in Western Equatoria State.
The fighting has displaced an estimated 40,000 people, with some 17,000 of them seeking refuge in the neighboring Ezo County. Additionally, several thousands of displaced persons are
In an exerted effort to prevent children’s rights from being violated, Child Protection and Human Rights Officers have been engaging with the organized forces in greater Tambura to create awareness on the Mission’s mandate, fundamental human rights principles, and the relation between the revitalized peace agreement and the need to keep boys and girls out of harm’s way.
According to a reliable source, over the weekend, South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) on a phone call ordered  SPLM/IO to leave the area because of the directives given by the principals in Juba that SPLM/IO should relocate from their current location, Following the orders, SPLM/IO were also preparing to leave the area despite the short notice, and to their surprise, the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) came and forcefully  started ordering them to leave and the fighting erupted.
However, the lead commandant General James Nando has denied any wrongdoing and said opposition forces of the SPLA-IO attacked Tambura town without being provoked and said SPLA-IO forces in Western Bahr el Ghazal state have sent a reinforcement to come and attack Tambura town on orders of senior SPLA-IO officers. He also said the division commander of SPLM-IO in Wau was responsible for sending those people.
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