JUBA , SOUTH SUDAN - The South Sudan army says it has killed Kerbino Wol, leader of a new rebel movement, a few weeks after Wol said he intended to overthrow the government of President Salva Kiir.
“Kerbino Wol Agok, the leader of October 7th movement, was killed [Sunday] at 8 pm at a village called Ayen Mayar of Rumbek East County in Lakes State,” South Sudan army spokesman Major General Lul Ruai Koang told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus.
The army had been battling Wol’s rebel fighters for days, according to Koang.
“He was with some of his small force, and we have been engaging them in the last four days. Our forces from 16 Infantry Brigade of the 6th Infantry Division have been pursuing them from one location to another,” Koang told VOA.
Five others were killed during the clashes: three of Wol’s fighters and two civilians, said Koang. He said other 7th October Movement fighters were captured alive but did not say how many or provide details about the size of Wol’s rebel group.
Wol announced his rebellion nearly two weeks ago, telling South Sudan in Focus his movement would fight President Kiir’s government and remove it from power.
Koang said the government launched military operations against Wol’s forces to halt any rebellion.
“You remember he had made an announcement that he had founded a new rebel movement ... and we as the army have a constitutional mandate to protect this democratically elected government,” Koang said.
Wol told South Sudan in Focus he was fighting for the country’s young people.
“They have taken the lead to liberate themselves from the oppression and failed leadership in the country,” Wol said.
Wol was freed from prison in January following a pardon by President Kiir. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail for allegedly leading a riot at the National Security headquarters, also known as Blue House, in Juba on October 7, 2018.