Local media claimed that despite the Ethiopian army’s raid, Dak Kuyet, the rebels’ alleged commander, escaped. However, the killings are yet to be independently verified.
The group is accused of trying to recruit and train youth in Gambella, as they build a force to overthrow the South Sudan government.
The Reporter newspaper, quoting unnamed sources from the Gambella Regional State said that a joint force, comprising of the army and the Gambella Special Forces, has been hunting the rebel group that has been operating inside the region for quite some time now.
Ethiopia and South Sudan signed an agreement a few months back to extradite rebels operating in either country. There are also reports that the army engaged with the South Sudanese rebels in a small town called Wassera.
Gatluwak Tut, vice president of the Gambella Regional State, told the paper that the operation was a smashing success and was proud of the victory.
He also said that the South Sudan government has been informed of the matter. It was also reported that three Ethiopian soldiers were wounded in the skirmish.
Kuyet is revered as a soothsayer in some parts of South Sudan, which has enabled him to gain considerable support from the local community.