10 February 2011 – Troops of armed forces and police had been deployed around Malakal, Upper Nile State, to secure peace following two days of fighting between the Joint Integrated Units (JIUs), Governor Simon Kon Pouch said at a press conference on Tuesday.
"We have deployed the SPLA (Sudan People's Liberation Army) and other organized forces in the area to protect the properties of the citizens," Governor Pouch said, while speaking at Malakal's Government Secretariat Hall.
Governor Pouch also assured residents that mitigating efforts were in place to prevent repeated incidents.
The reason for fighting was disagreements between the components of JIU forces on their redeployment to the north, the governor explained.
Following last month's self-determination referendum of Southern Sudan, which resulted in a separation vote, the JIU is to be dissolved and its two components – comprising SPLA and Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) troops – integrated into their respective forces, as stipulated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
Efforts by the northern SAF to redeploy with their military assets have been met by stiff resistance.
"We have received reports that 12 civilians and 44 soldiers were killed and about 60 wounded," Mr. Pouch said, and extended his condolences to families of the victims. Fighting was also reported in Palluoch, Melut and Maban counties but no civilian casualties were reported.
Security arrangements, the issue of oil-rich Abyei, border demarcation, debt, asset and wealth sharing, citizenship and currency are some of the critical issues that remain to be resolved before Southern Sudan is declared independent on 9 July 2011.