BOR, SOUTH SUDAN —
Rebels led by David Yau Yau have claimed responsibility for an attack in Pibor earlier this week, in which a South Sudanese soldier was killed, and warned civilians and NGOs to leave the areas around Pibor and Kapoeta, threatening to mount more attacks.
Rebel spokesman Peter Konyi Kubrin said in an email that Yau Yau's fighters had carried out the deadly attack in Pibor this week, and warned that more violence was on its way.
The rebels, who call themselves the South Sudan Democratic Army, also issued a statement rejecting an amnesty offer from South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, and called for the government to be dissolved.
South Sudanese army spokesman Philip Aguer said the army is "ready to protect the area."
"Pibor was attacked on Monday and the SPLA repulsed them... The SPLA is in the area of Pibor and will continue to provide protection and security to the town,” Aguer said.
Commenting on more than 300 police auxiliary forces from the Pibor area who deserted their posts, reportedly because they did not have enough to eat, Aguer said their actions would not impact the SPLA's ability to defend the area.
Yau Yau first rebelled against the government in 2010 after failing to win a seat in the state parliament.
In 2011 he accepted an earlier offer of amnesty from Kiir and returned to Juba where he was promoted to the rank of general in the SPLA.
But last year, he resumed his rebellion against Juba.
The South Sudanese government earlier this year tried to engage Yau Yau in peace talks, but when their effort came to naught, they vowed to defeat the rebel group militarily before the end of the dry season, which is usually in May.