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South Sudan’s opposition forces claim capture of Nasir town

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July 20, 2014 (JUBA) – Forces loyal to South Sudan former vice-president, Riek Machar claimed they were fully in control of Nasir, a strategic Upper Nile state town.

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South Sudanese rebel troops loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar stand on guard in Unity state capital Bentiu on 12 January 2014 after recapturing the strategic town from government troops (Photo: Reuters)

A military spokesperson for the rebels said forces under the command of Maj. Gen. Gathoth Gatkuoth liberated Nasir town from pro-government forces at dawn.

“The liberation of Nasir came about after repeated futile attempts made by Kiir’s forces to arrest Gen. Gathoth at his twin bases in Maan-Deng and Jigmir,” said Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang in statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

He further said their forces have for the last three days been fighting in self-defense in order to “protect and prevent unlawfully arrest of the top military commander”.

“Today at dawn, Kiir’s forces were finally repulsed, pursued at neck-breaking speed and as result, Nasir was captured at 700am this morning,” partly noted the rebels’ statement.

The opposition forces also claimed to have captured three government tanks and allegedly destroyed a number of trucks during the assault on Nasir.

South Sudan army (SPLA) spokesperson, Phillip Aguer earlier told Radio Tamajuz that fighting was ongoing between pro-govermment forces and rebels in Nasir.

But Gordon Buay, a member of other armed groups integration committee disputed the rebel claims, saying opposition forces were repulsed out of Nasir town by pro-government forces.

"The group that attacked the airport and commissioner’s office resisted for hours. However, the SPLA forces defeated them at 12:30 PM. At the Airport, around 230 rebels were found dead," Buay said in a statement obtained by Sudan Tribune.

IGAD CONDEMNS ATTACK

The special envoys from the regional bloc (IGAD) have strongly condemn this attack in Nasir by forces of the SPLM/A–In Opposition, describing it a blatant violation of Cessation of Hostilities (COH) Agreement, signed between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and the rebels on 23 January.

“While the casualties of this attack are yet to be assessed, the mediation team is saddened by the continued loss of lives not only of combatants, but of vulnerable groups like women and children,” IGAD said in a statement.

Both warring parties, the regional bloc said, had on 10 June pledged to “end the war now” and establish a transitional government within 60 days.

“In view of the above and of reports of rising tensions in other areas, the IGAD Special Envoys appeal to the Parties to remain committed to the Agreements signed and to exercise maximum restraints and desist from any further violations,” IGAD further observed.

Talks between the two parties, currently on hold, is seen as the best alternative to the country’s seven-month old conflict that has killed thousands and displaced nearly 1.5 million people.

(ST)

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  • 20 July 2014 16:33, by Rami Tot

    Why IGAD Nhialdiu, Nyagarang, Buoth, Guit, and Wicok attack by pro government in unity state alone leave about uppernile and Jonglei state and northern Bahr elgahzal.

    repondre message

    • 20 July 2014 16:56, by Malakal county Simon

      After many provoking attempted and continues violation of cessation of hostilities by Kiir pro-forces, Nasir Town It’s finally return to its rightful owner’s..... Freedom Fighters Oyee!!! Democratic/Federalism Oyee!!! And Dr Machar Oyee!!!

      repondre message

      • 20 July 2014 17:27, by Mi diit

        So the new Chinese weapons did not help, ah? IGAD should learn about the first violation by Kiir’s forces when they attempted to capture Gen Gathoth Gatkuoth. Why do they only react to the retaliation, leaving the cause of the fighting. Shame on you IGAD.

        repondre message

        • 20 July 2014 18:39, by Stephen kuach

          when i think and rethink over and over again,our brothers from Nuer are definitely going to eliminate themselves for some baseless lies they’re hearing,Nasir hasn’t been captured,even if it does fell under the control of the rebel’s hand,that’s not going to solve the problem of what took Riek Machar to bush,it had been said too many times that one particular tribe cannot make a country...

          repondre message

        • 20 July 2014 18:40, by Rommel

          Mi Diit:

          Gathoth Gatkuoth has affirmed [over and over again] that he simply doesn’t recognize the ’ceasefire’, and so I very much doubt that this was merely a ’retaliation’. Aeschylus said that "truth is the first casualty of war" - 500 years before Christ. The idiom remains true today -> it’s eternally pertinent.

          repondre message

      • 20 July 2014 23:51, by Mr Point

        Peace talks are stalled.
        Cease fire has been broken again.
        Neither side can achieve a military victory.

        What are the conditions necessary to bring Kiir’s War to an end?

        repondre message

      • 21 July 2014 06:30, by Freedom Fighter

        Title freedom fighters does not apply to the White Army. They are terrorists and blood suckers. Where in the world the freedom fighters attack schools, churches/mosques, hospitals, and banks. Riek and his lieutenants will soon stand trial for the genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity they’ve committed in Bor, Baliet, Malakal, and Bentiu

        repondre message

    • 21 July 2014 05:59, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      Not a matter, Kiir forces will defeat them in next few days. Provided that cessation of hostility has broken by Riek.

      repondre message

  • 20 July 2014 17:15, by Kim Deng

    None of them will escape alive, I wish sell-out Buay was there in that battle of Nasir.

    repondre message

  • 20 July 2014 18:43, by Bolong

    Wow, Konkooch Vase Wena thiin about this news.

    repondre message

  • 21 July 2014 05:31, by Emporio

    I don’t know where this cowboy going to take south neur defined this war as neur vs dinka and this govt didn’t want to accept it, I bet you neur if dinka accept this war as what you thought it is, you would not even think a bout your existence we jst need one second to show them how tribal war look like am just seek of naygaats uselessness

    repondre message

    • 21 July 2014 16:01, by Frak Cho

      To Dr. Riek Machar and his men/his wife,
      Be reserve, under whose hands as of now 5:01pm is Nasir?

      repondre message

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