By Watchdog reporter
Real war is looming in South Sudan as former First Vice President, Riek Machar, warns that his troops will match on Juba unless a third party force intervenes.
Machar says he wants the third force to remove the “illegal” appointment of Gen Taban Deng Gai which meant the August 2015 peace agreement had collapsed. Machar justifies war saying he wants to return country to the agreement.
“My troops are ready to storm the capital Juba and take control,” Machar told the Turkish Anadolu Agency on Friday. He explained why he fled Juba, saying, “I went out of sight when I learned that the goal was to eliminate me.”
Heavy fighting has been going on for the past three days in the bushes around Juba as at least 10,000 troops loyal to President Kiir, backed by tanks and helicopter gunships, have been battling forces loyal to Machar in hunting him down from where he has been “hiding around Juba.”
Hundreds of wounded soldiers have already been brought back to the hospitals in Juba as a result of the fighting in the forests, with hundreds more feared dead on both sides.
Since the renewed violence between his fighters and government troops on 8 July, Machar has been in hiding since 11 July, after four days of fighting with his 1,300 troops, after his residence was bombed using helicopter gunships to kill him.