On Tuesday, South Sudan's army restored calm to the northern state of Upper Nile following the recent displacements of thousands of civilians due to intermittent communal violence.
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Lul Ruai Koang, the spokesperson of the South Sudan People's Defense Forces (SSPDF), said they issued an ultimatum to the invading White Army militia to withdraw from Upper Nile State.
"I am glad to announce to you that we have received information that the White Army is withdrawing back to their original place of Jonglei State," Koang said, adding that the White Army militia is mostly made up of the Nuer ethnic community from Jonglei State.
Upper Nile State has experienced violence since August when fighting erupted between Sudan People's Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) faction led by Simon Gatwech Dual, and Agwelek militia under Johnson Olony.
However, the renewed fighting in mid-November between the White Army militia and the indigenous Shiluk community in Fashoda County of Upper Nile State displaced about 40,000 civilians, mostly children and women.
"We could not intervene because the fighting was taking place in areas under the control of two rival factions of Sudan People's Liberation Army-in Opposition," said Koang.
Gatwech's SPLA-IO faction split in August 2021 from the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) led by First Vice President Riek Machar. Olony was initially Gatwech's deputy in the splinter faction, but the two soon fell out, leading to fighting.
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir last week directed SSPDF Chief of Defense Forces Santino Deng Wol to deploy soldiers to end the conflict that has created a humanitarian crisis.