Five Ugandans have been killed in South Sudan rebel attack. While claiming responsibility for the attack, SPLA-IO rebels say in a statement as reported by Sudan Tribune that more than 40 people were killed including High ranking military officers in South Sudanese army on Thursday when their convoy came under attack on Juba – Nimule road.
Aswa River Police Spokesperson Patrick Jimmy Okema says the five Ugandans are from Koboko, in WestNile.
They are identified as John Nigo, Charles Yeka, Rev. Gboro Yona, John Paru Loja and their driver James Aliker.
Okema says the Ugandan victims were traveling to Juba for a wedding when their vehicle a Premio registration number SSD 393B which was among a convoy, came under heavy gunfire.
The convoy was escorted by members of a joint army and police force that guard convoys traveling in the dangerous region.
The attackers, according to Brigadier Daniel Justin, the Sudanese police spokesman, overpowered the military escort, resulting in the death of three government soldiers while three others were wounded as they escorted buses, according to an earlier report by the Sudan Tribune.
The rebel group SPLA-IO has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The rebels claim the attack was led by their leader, Dr. Riek Machar.
In a statement claiming responsibility for the attack signed by Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, the SPLA-IO said the attack was a response to the repeated attacks on their positions by the government forces and to tell the world it was not part of the national dialogue declared by President Salva Kiir.
The SPLA-IO, further said they destroyed four military Land Cruisers and nine other vehicles. Five Ak47 were recovered in good condition. More than 40 lives perished including civilians who were caught in the crossfire.
The armed opposition regretted the loss of civilian lives who felt victims due to an exchange of fire with the government forces.
The incident, it says, was a direct attack on the government escort vehicles which were completely destroyed as reported by the government police spokesperson who earlier said 14 lives were lost from the attack.
The statement warned civilians to not move with the army on the road to avoid becoming victims of attacks targeting the government forces.