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South Sudan army says Malakal under government control

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December 29, 2013 (JUBA) - The South Sudan army declared on Sunday that it was in full control of Malakal, the Upper Nile State capital after a fierce battle with rebels.

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South Sudan Vice President James Igga (C) announces to the media the recapture of Malakal town by government forces from the rebels, in the capital Juba December 28, 2013 (REUTERS/James Akena)

The announcement, which could not be independently verified, brings to an end a week-long fight over the town which was partially in control of rebels loyal to former vice president Riek Machar.

Colonel Phillip Aguer, spokesman of the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) said the army had liberated Malakal from ‘‘hooligans.’’

“The situation in Malakal has changed since Friday. You know there were attacks in the SPLA headquarters in Malakal, but it is controlled at the moment. The SPLA forces are pursuing them [rebels] outside the town,” Aguer told Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

The SPLA spokesman said the security situation in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state was not ‘‘very bad’’ adding that government forces were fending off attacks from the rebels who lost control of the town last week.

The political crisis in South Sudan was triggered off two weeks ago when fighting broke out in the barracks among members of the presidential guard in Juba before spreading to residential areas and extending to Bor, the state capital of Jonglei.

Several members who are mainly from the Nuer ethnic group fled to two separate camps of the United Nations in Juba for fear of allegedly being attacked by the Dinka. Meanwhile in Bor, the commander of the SPLA’s 8th division, Peter Gadet Yak and James Kong Chuol, commander of the 4th division in Unity state, switched allegiance to Riek Machar.

The now former SPLA commanders, like Machar, are from the Nuer tribe, the second largest in South Sudan after the Dinka.

Even though the government says Malakal is now under its control, the security situation appears fluid. The whereabouts of the governor, Simon Kun Puoc, remains unknown while some of his cabinet ministers have reportedly fled to a UN camp. Others have fled to their villages and other towns. This followed the defection of the 7th division commander of forces around Malakal.

Despite that, Aguer says the army is in control of Malakal and that the security situation in the country had improved.

“The general security situation in the country except few places where SPLA forces have been forced to defend and protect lives and properties of our civil population is normal. Juba as you all know now is under maximum security control", he said.

"Civilians have started to return in Bor. SPLA forces there are on high alert, given that we have received reports that Dr. Riek Machar has decided to mobilize the ’’white army’’ to launch an attack on Bor. But the situation there is quiet at the moment. It is under full control,” added the army spokesperson.

(ST)

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  • 30 December 2013 01:24, by dinkagloble

    That’s an old news and I wonder why Sudan Tribune keep withholding such vital information till now. They don’t even have single report about General James Koang plan to switch back to Government side. There is creditable report that says General Koang is holding emergency meeting with his top generals about this regard.

    repondre message

  • 30 December 2013 02:10, by dude

    We do not need Kiir or Riek. We want a new president that will be able to rule all the tribes equally. Kiir and Riek Machar have killed a lot of our people.

    repondre message

  • 30 December 2013 02:13, by dude

    Kiir should be blamed more because he does not understand to hear the opposition demands. He does not know politics. He is just a military man. This is the reason why the war broke out. I think the Dinka are very happy now that the war is on because that is what they had wanted. Keeping an illiterate power in presidency will not solve our problems because he will always be taking illiterate decisi

    repondre message

    • 30 December 2013 03:33, by Maguangdit

      Hey Dude,
      Have you seen a medical doctor for medical care? You seem to make sense now a little bit though you are not completely convinced of Riak’s problem. Please, take the insane Kim Deng and Mayom County Boy to your doctor. They need an urgent medical care. Good luck for seeing a doctor!

      repondre message

  • 30 December 2013 03:50, by dude

    Maguagdit
    When will you go see your doctor?

    repondre message

    • 30 December 2013 03:58, by Maguangdit

      Dude,
      I don’t need to see a doctor sir. I’m quite well. I hope you will recover well very soon. However, ensure that Kim Deng, Raan Naath, Mayom County Boy, and Bentiu County Simon whatever the name is see your doctor please. Your doctor is an expert indeed to improve your situation in a day. Thanks brother. Good luck and wish you a quick recovery.

      repondre message

  • 30 December 2013 03:57, by dude

    I cannot make peace myself alone. You also need to go see the Doctor. Go to Dr.Machar, he has the medicine for your cure. After that you can go to kiir to ask him to pay for your medical bills.

    repondre message

    • 30 December 2013 04:03, by Maguangdit

      Hahahah, I cannot see "Dr. Risk" brother. He may prescribe lethal medication to euthanize me if I have any medical condition. What is the name of your doctor please?

      repondre message

  • 30 December 2013 04:02, by dude

    Manguangdiit
    After you received your medicine money from Kiir, you can go to the third Doctor who is new. The New Doctor can build you a house, a good road, and a new hospital for your future orphans. He will also bring you a peaceful live and to all the South Sudanese across the country.

    repondre message

    • 30 December 2013 04:12, by Maguangdit

      Dude,
      I hope your tone changes because you might have received counseling from "Intelligence" psychologist who is paid by the South Sudan government. South Sudan is doing well this time. They are locating the sick and find medicine for them. Thanks to the government of South Sudan "Intelligence" psychologists and psychiatrists. Good team indeed.

      repondre message

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