Home | News    Monday 5 May 2014

S. Sudan defence minister confirms recapture of key rebel towns

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May 4, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s defence minister announced on Sunday that government troops had recaptured of Upper Nile state’s Nasir town, one of the strongholds of rebel fighters under the leadership of former vice-president turned rebel leader Riek Machar.

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SPLA soldiers sit in a pick-up in the key north oil city of Bentiu after capturing it from rebels on 12 January 2014 (Photo: AFP/Simon Maina)

The South Sudanese army also claimed to have taken Bentiu, the capital of oil-rich Unity state.

Defence minister Kuol Manyang Juuk told Sudan Tribune Sunday that government troops were reacting “in self defence” to attacks by rebel fighters on the positions of the latter

“There has been a fighting in Upper Nile and Unity states. The rebels of Riek Machar have been attacking positions of our forces for the last few days even after the talks have resumed,” said minister Juuk in an interview conducted on Sunday.

“They continued to carry out these attacks in clear violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement,” he added.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) spokesperson, Philip Aguer, also confirmed the captures of Nasir, adding that a separate major assault on Bentiu has been launched.

“Nasir is now under complete control of our forces and it is just a matter of time before the SPLA take complete control of the security situation,” Aguer said in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

The military officer said the rebel fighters fled the town into disarray and the government troops were still pursuing them.

Nasir which is located on the north side of the Sobat River, is at 30 kilometres from the Ethiopian border.

The town was under the control of the rebel SPLM-In-Opposition since the start of the conflict and Riek Machar met there with many foreign diplomats and journalists.

Aguer also said the SPLA troops have retaken Bentiu from the rebels who had recaptured it for the second time on 15 April.

“Our forces also launched similar operations in Unity state and there were heavy fighting too. They (the rebels) tried to resist but our forces have made significant progress. They are already inside Bentiu town, trying to clear it of rebel remnants,” said the military spokesperson.

South Sudan rebel commander in Unity state Maj.Gen. James Koang Chuol confirmed the recapture of Bentiu town and accused the Sudanese rebel groups of JEM and SPLA-N of participating in the attack besides the South Sudanese army.

The rebel general who was speaking to Sudan Tribune through a satellite telephone however warned they would recapture the capital of the oil rich state.

“We will kick them out soon, it will not take us some days or hours,” Choul said.

Multiple UN sources reported seeing a long line of government troops moving in convoy of heavily armed opened vehicles and tanks moving Bentiu town on Sunday.

“A huge force moving slowly passed near our office this morning. It was heading toward the Bentiu town. They were moving in heavily armoured Personnel Carriers. They were not shooting but we have heard sound of heavy firing before they came”, a UN source told Sudan Tribune on Sunday in an e-mail message.

The warring parties resumed peace talks in Addis Ababa amid strong international pressures to stop the fighting and allow humanitarian access to civilians and IDPs camps.

Also, Washington called on president Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar to meet as soon as possible and recommit themselves to the ceasefire agreement and strike a political deal.

Sudan Tribune has learnt that the fighting broke out on Sunday in the far north of Upper Nile state, as the rebels are now heading to Renk town after controlling Gerger and Jalhak areas.

(ST)

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  • 5 May 09:35, by Jalaby

    How many times I said to you guys this is Tome & Jerry game!!!!
    Rainy season is under way and all the bad roads between Uganda and S Sudan will be full of water and out of reach and SPLA, JEM & SPLA-N have to fight without support from Uganda and with their only light weapons because the heavy guns would be useless and the rebels will have the chance to move quickly!

    repondre message

    • 5 May 09:41, by Jalaby

      Thieves in Juba must understand that it’s almost impossible to suppress the rebel or win the war, Ugandan army and other JEM & SPLA-N mercenaries cannot stay for ever in the south!
      This needs a political solution because the military solution that Juba is implementing will never ever solve the problem but will extend the catastrophe of southerners and kill them!

      repondre message

      • 5 May 09:53, by Jalaby

        Well,political solution means real democracy, free media, equality, country of justice and power sharing .. do you think the mentality of the people in power in Juba are willing to do that? of course not because their culture and believes are based on the mentality of Guerrilla war and every solution should only come through the gun machine language, they know nothing

        repondre message

        • 5 May 10:01, by Jalaby

          country of law and constitution!
          The war will continue with nonstop and the southerners, children, infants, elders and women will be the victim and will pay the high price but the war traders will benefit the most!
          Ironically, SPLA/M were fighting Khartoum government for more than 20 years and they were singing all the time about new Sudan which should be:democratic,

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          • 5 May 10:09, by Jalaby

            fair,equal and contains all Sudanese people, bla..bla, I know from day one that they’re liars and never bought their story, why you didn’t implement new Sudan idea in the south?what? it could only be implemented in the north but not in the south? LOL
            For sure,the cartoon movie of Tom & Jerry will go on and on since all the mentalities in the south need to be changed!

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            • 5 May 12:56, by Majongdit

              Jalaby,
              Time and again we have proved you wrong.
              With Nuer you cannot achieve anything in South Sudan. I told you many times that this is nothing new. It is just the same usual thing of Nuer + Arabs against South Sudan. You will lose the way you usually lose.
              BUT NEW SCANRIOS MAY SOON EMERGE IF YOU ARE NOT CAREFUL. THE AFRICAN TRIBES OF THE SUDANS MAY UNITE AGAINST BESHIR IF HE MEDDLES IN SOUTH’S

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              • 5 May 14:51, by moto

                JALAB,
                STOP BARKING WE ARE TIED WITH YOUR NONSENSES WHICH HAVE NO MEANING COMPLETELY.WISDOM IS THE PAYMENT YOU EARN WHEN LISTENING TO OTHERS COMMENTS, YOUR FAR OUTWEIHTS BEHAVIOR DEFINE YOUR LEVEL OF EDUCATION.YOU MIGHT SEEM TO BE STUDENT WITHOUT COLLEAGUES.TELL ME HAVE YOUR PROBLEMS?

                repondre message

    • 5 May 09:52, by Malakal county Simon

      Liars!! There are no more dictator forces in both Nasir and Ulang a the moment.... They have been surrounding and scattered to the bushes, and some drowns in the river yesterday around 11:30pm!!

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      • 5 May 10:12, by Jewish Ally

        JALABY
        I KNOW YOU SEEM TO BE FAVOURING REBELLION IS SOUTH SUDAN IN ORDER TO STEAL OUR RESOURCES BUT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE THIS TIME. BOTH GOVERNMENT AND REBELS WILL SOON COME TO ONE SIDE AND YOUR UGLY AND EMPTY DREAM WILL HAVE NO ROOM.

        repondre message

    • 5 May 11:34, by mathem jech amer

      Jalaby
      Mr day dreamer, if you never happen to visit South Sudan & Uganda border come & see, no bad roads between the two countries, all tarmac.

      repondre message

    • 6 May 08:11, by Johndumo14

      The USA and other powerful Nations are playing politics on South Sudan.
      Why him John Kerry didnot condemns the rebels when the rebels recaptured malakal and Bentui even more than 200 sudanese traders were killed by rebels.
      U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said his government “condemns in the strongest terms” a new offensive by South Sudanese government forces against opposition-held positions.

      repondre message

  • 5 May 11:00, by philipdit wol

    Bro, SPLA force for victory please, we need not to disintegrated our self Nuer/ Dinka capture these towns and handing over them to their commisioners yours is to protect the nation under this stupidity Rebelion.

    repondre message

    • 5 May 11:57, by barbayo

      345 Nationality of Ethiopia were killed as part of rebels from Gombella Nuer,they joined rebels , Government of South Sudan shoul take seriouse step to Government of Ethiopia for support the rebels under Raik Machar

      repondre message

  • 5 May 16:00, by Mapuor

    SPLA is recovering from the damage that Oyai Deng,Majak Agot,Mathok Geng,Pieng Deng Majok did to it for the last eight years.Brothers,soldiers food,uniform,fuel etc used to be sold at broad day light with impunity all over the South.The looting spree that happened in the SPLA under those thugs was great.SPLA is gaining momentum and rebels will be defeated soon

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