Home | News    Thursday 30 October 2014

S. Sudan rebels claim control over Bentiu amid government denials

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October 29, 2014 (KAMPALA) – South Sudan’s rebel SPLM in Opposition faction announced on Wednesday that its forces were in control of Bentiu, the oil-producing capital of Unity state, accusing pro-government troops of disowning a ceasefire agreement inked on 23 January.

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Internally displaced people at a UN camp in Unity state capital Bentiu welcome the arrival of rebel forces on 29 October 2014 (ST)

Lt. Col Peter Riek Gew, a rebel spokesperson on the ground, told Sudan Tribune that rebel forces were forced to take control of the oil-rich town due to the aggressive action of South Sudan army (SPLA) against their defense positions.

He said government’s continuous attacks on their positions north of Bentiu constituted a violation of the ceasefire deal and resulted to the response by the opposition forces.

“The government troops were attacking our various positions in the northern part of the state between last week and this week. We were responding in self-defence. We cannot wait for the enemy to kill us, so we have decided to [launch] counter attacks,” said Gew by satellite phone.

He further accused the government of preferring military action rather than negotiation.

“Our leadership opted for peaceful dialogue to settle our disputes with the government, but some individuals within the government are not happy about peace because they know when peace comes they will be victims of arrest for [the] murder of civilians at the beginning of the crisis,” he said.

Gew said it was not the first time the South Sudanese army and their foreign allies have launched attacks on rebel positions while engaged in ongoing peace negotiations between the warring parties in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

“Bentiu, Nasir, Bor and Malakal were under our full control between April and May; Look what the government did and they provoked us in those areas,” he said.

The opposition faction, which is under the leadership of former vice-president Riek Machar, claimed to have flushed out pro-government forces at about 3pm (local time) in Unity state’s twin towns of Rubkotna and Bentiu, adding that it’s troops are now continuing to deal with remnant government forces in the west of Rubkotna county.

Several aid workers and residents residing in United Nations camps in the area separately confirmed the fall of Bentiu to rebel forces commanded by Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet.

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) inside camps manned by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) were reportedly celebrating and dancing to welcome the rebel forces.

ARMY DISMISSES REBEL CLAIMS

However, government military spokesman Col Philip Aguer on Wednesday confirmed heavy fighting was taking place inside Bentiu town, but denied that the rebels had overrun the town.

Aguer said government troops managed to defeat the rebel forces after several hours of fierce battles.

Fighting has continued for the past three days in northern areas of Bentiu, including its oil fields.

It remains unclear who instigated the latest outbreak of violence, as both sides accuse each other of responsibility.

MACHAR NEVER ORDERED ATTACK

The spokesperson for rebel leader Riek Machar also accused government forces of allegedly violating the cessation of hostilities agreement by provoking rebel forces in Unity state, resulting in the capture of the oil-rich town on Wednesday.

“It has become a habit that government forces attack our positions and rush to blame the violations on us. How do they explain shelling our defence positions for the last three days?” James Gatdek Dak said, adding that rebel forces had the right to self-defence and to pursue their attackers.

He dismissed allegations that the opposition forces were ordered by Machar to attack Bentiu, saying they were simply responding to continuous shelling by the government troops.

Dak also accused the government of compromising the sovereignty of South Sudan by inviting a foreign army from Uganda to take charge of the country’s security.

Government and rebel forces have been engaged in an armed struggle since a political dispute in the country’s ruling party in mid-December last year turned violent.

The conflict was initially contained in the capital, Juba, but quickly spread to other parts of the country, sparking fears of a full-scale civil war during the dry season.

Unity state has been a flashpoint for violence, changing hands several times since the conflict broke out, killing thousands and displacing over a million people.

(ST)

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  • 30 October 2014 08:15, by Malakal county Simon

    It is not a claims but reality on the ground ....... Blame it on foolish Kiir Soldiers for provoking Free dom Fighters...... No more Bentiu for slaves/Jaangs this time....... We spend enough time worthless peace negotiation......

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    • 30 October 2014 09:17, by Big Boy

      Dear Malakal,
      You are killed those who beside your teams,you ever cared about the sectarian violence.It was a tool to justify your extension area you want to rule and don’t care who you killed or murder even those those they murder don’t want them as their rulers,and I dont hear the human rights activist commenting on this barbaric action? They are only quick when the Govt forces make some casual.

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      • 30 October 2014 17:59, by Mading Makuac

        That is not true and if it is true then it is Bashir supporting these dogs.Just celebrate and our force will castrate you in two days time

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    • 30 October 2014 09:50, by Mayom County Boy

      Bentiu,is in full control of Major General Thayiep Gatluak and Brigadier General Kerubino Manyuot , plus Brigadier General Ruac Tap , no doubt all Riek Machar supporters are in the bush for hiding, it is a matter of time soon Major General Mathew Puljang Top will be in Bentiu town after three hours .SPLA Oyeeeeeee, Braves officers of Mayaom county Oyeeee.Long Live Oyeeeee,

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      • 30 October 2014 16:28, by chuol

        SHAME ON THE BLOODY TRADER

        PEACE IS WHAT WE NEED

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      • 30 October 2014 20:44, by Reconciliation

        Whom are you deceiving?You Nuer will finish one after another.Just wait.

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    • 30 October 2014 13:00, by Realist

      It is now obvious who violated cease fire. Attacking a town is for sure a violation of cease fire no matter what reasons were given. I think Dr. Riek et al are not for peace. They repeatedly keep saying that that Kiir must be removed by force. Unfortunately I see more destruction coming.

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  • 30 October 2014 08:24, by wang

    Philip Aguer and Gordon Bouy would accept the fall of Benui later on as a usual….Too bad to admit the loosed….Freedom Fight oyeeeeeee…Peter Gadet Yak Oyeeeeeeees. Dr. Riek OYeeeeeeee…. Upper Nile region OYeeeeeeee

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    • 30 October 2014 08:36, by Ayom Ayom

      Rebels score one goal for their wet season offensive for first round attack on Bentiu, I think in the second round tomorrow of fire fight, government forces may score two or more goals, Don’t celebrate yet, you they fun to rebels wait for more news. you must note that this is TIT for TAT.

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  • 30 October 2014 08:27, by Son of Ngundeng

    JUNDI Iraq.

    We believe when you are there, Warrap will be burn soon in to ash, leave about Bantui.
    Kiir this time will say sorry to
    Freedom Fighters,

    Ngundeng will lead the life of drunkard president to death.
    Ngundeng Oyeee, F.F Oyeeee, cii jaang lay kee riem.

    repondre message

  • 30 October 2014 08:32, by Son of Ngundeng

    Dear Naath,

    Let us sing a song, Wane! Kamda kee jaang thiele maley thiele maley waaa, heee thiele maley waa, kamda kee jaang thiele maley Waa.
    ......................Kiir will blame his wife Ayen.........
    I believe that.

    repondre message

    • 30 October 2014 09:09, by Redeemer

      Son of Ngundeng
      Warrap will remain as a dream like the presidency seat for Nuer

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      • 30 October 2014 20:49, by Reconciliation

        Since December,you guys have been talking of Warrap and you don,t come.Just come so that we teach lessons that you will never forget in your life.I want to make it clear that Riek will nver rule this nation.Mark that poit very well and you will prove it right in the nearest future.

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  • 30 October 2014 08:51, by Chol A.

    Liars, liars and liars Nuer, you just post liars to confuse your own community. Can you call your cousin in beatiu now and confirm who reallybcontrol it? You are been flashed out by SPLA forces yesterday and they are chasing your nyagat toward Sudan. SPLA. Oyeeee!!!

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  • 30 October 2014 09:04, by mzalendo mwema

    Dear Chol A
    Both Wang and Son of Ngungdeng do not know what they are talking about.Even the spelling of Bentiu is a problem to them.
    Let us pray for PEACE and I hope it will come.

    Thanks Chol A

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    • 30 October 2014 09:21, by Gangura

      I am reporting from Bentiu, we the rebels are in full control of oil rich town. forget about stupid Col. Philip Aguer with his arguement because it is submissive to Kirr. we are tired of this Jub goverment, anybody can write me on gangaru@yahoo.com for more information.

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  • 30 October 2014 09:30, by mzalendo mwema

    Dear internet rebel fighters,

    All you preach on the internet cause more deaths on the ground.Preach PEACE because it is harmless.

    Also Juba based observers, analysts, insiders,self- proclaimed human rights watch groups and naked democracy preachers.All these groups are fuelling conflicts through their words and actions.

    repondre message

  • 30 October 2014 09:51, by Naath Raani

    Coward Dinkas! You keep running like ladies. Let Ugandas leave. I believe if M7 leaves today from South Sudan, some of you guys will forget their kids to leave the country to neiboring countries. Look, Nuers kicked your asses in Kakuma 3 days ago while you guys are majority in Camp. Shame on you mieeth gany.

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    • 30 October 2014 10:41, by kuac Agol

      Dear Naath or whatever you called yourself
      You are not well mannered and lack leadership objectivities as S.Sudanese Citizen, as for your statement of Dinkas being cowards that is untrue at all, meet again with your uncle Riak Machar to discuss why he refuse to sign the deal, is it not because he do not want stay In Juba with Salva Kiir and what is the reason to why he do not want to be in Juba?

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    • 30 October 2014 13:06, by Redeemer

      Raani
      You guys have done more harm then good. You don’t Mr. Raani how your fellow brothers are suffering at the grassroot. for the sake of Riek’s presidency. I don’t know how u will feel when u realize that Riek has failed to make it?

      repondre message

  • 30 October 2014 16:27, by Kim Deng

    "Mr. Salva must find his oil in Warrap or we will finish his Mathiang Ayoor." Gen. Makal Kuol Deng declared.
    http://nyamile.com/2014/10/30/comprehensive-reports-on-recent-fighting-in-unity-state/

    repondre message

  • 30 October 2014 20:25, by Mabior Dhongbang

    Iam in Bentiu now, the government troops are ccontrolling Rubkona, and rebels, are in town , the way from Leer county, so nuer should stop propaganda spreading.

    repondre message

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