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S. Sudan admits losing strategic town of Malakal to rebels

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June 30, 2015 (JUBA) - The South Sudanese government has admitted losing the Upper Nile state town of Malakal, which fell to the armed opposition forces over the weekend.

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South Sudan defence minister Kuol Manyang Juuk (ST/File)

Defense minister, Kuol Manyang said government forces pulled out of the strategic town to avoid damage and loss of lives, but were within the outskirts of Malakal.

“The rebels of Riek Machar are in Malakal”, Defence minister Kuol Manyang told reporters on Tuesday. Our forces are around Malakal”, he said, without much details.

The defense minister was reacting to a question asking about general security situation in the country and who actually controlled the strategic oil-rich state capital.

Local officials and residents separately told Sudan Tribune that the armed fighters under the overall command of former government militia commander, Johnson Olony and forces allied to the former vice president Riek Machar under the command of General Gabriel Tanginye remain in control of the town and that government forces were only occupying areas within Lul bridge and some territories east of Akoka county.

Minister Manyang, however, assured the population that pro-government forces were capable of defending the young nation, including their abilities to take full control of Malakal "soon".

The Upper Nile capital has changed hands several times between the South Sudanese army and the armed opposition forces since violence broke out in the country in 2013.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and about 2 million displaced since fighting broke out in South Sudan as aid agencies warned of severe famine in coming months.

(ST)

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  • 1 July 2015 04:23, by Lotodo Awino Odug

    Juba gave them a reason to fight on, let those who wants to bring peace fast go and liberate it. the soldiers are disheartened by poor reinstatement processes, they believe their lives are being put on the line for nothing. I warned you about the nuances of reunification about a week ago.(now it is back-firing and the worse is yet to come)

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    • 1 July 2015 06:40, by Mi diit

      James Gatdet Dak correctly reported that the rebels took full control of Malakal, but the lies, denials of the government said NO.

      Now they have admitted finally that they lost Malakal. Who will trust this government again? They lie, deny and admit later on. Sorry!

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      • 1 July 2015 06:51, by Clausewitz

        Mi diit:

        Exactly just how many times must you be made aware of the fact that truth is the first casualty of war and that neither side has been particularly truthful? We must take every claim (s) and resultant counter-claim (s) with a grain of salt and defer to impartial sources to confirm what truly transpired.

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        • 1 July 2015 06:52, by Clausewitz

          Like I’ve said before, both sides have abused the truth; both sides have embellished, exaggerated, distorted and denied the truth. Pretending that either side has been invariably truthful is laughable. We don’t have to refer too far back in the past to dredge up instances in which the rebels were clearly lying. The claimed partial capture of Paloich is a case in point.

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          • 1 July 2015 07:02, by Mi diit

            Rommel (clausewitz),

            Unless you are not honest here, the rebels are far more truthful than that so-called government which was formed only to lie.

            When rebels said they captured Melut, government denied it, but it was truthful. When rebels withdrew from Melut they said it. They were only saying they were mobilizing and besieging Paloich, but did not say they captured it. They shelled it.

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            • 1 July 2015 07:05, by Mi diit

              When rebels shot helicopter gunship in Melut, they said it. Government denied it. But later families of the pilot killed in that helicopter shot down mourned the death of their son and this revealed the truth of the matter.

              When rebels captured Malakal, they said it. Government first denied, but now defense minister admitted.

              Philip Aguer is a congenital liar who should not be trusted any more

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            • 1 July 2015 07:36, by Clausewitz

              Mi Diit:

              The rebels have not been at all honest... in fact they have presented infinitely more bizarre and untenable claims. Do you recall when the rebels falsely declared that they had captured Renk? What about when they claimed that they had retaken Nasir? Contrary to your desperate denials, the rebels did claim that they had taken partial control of Paloich.

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  • 1 July 2015 04:27, by Clausewitz

    Who do you think you’re fooling, Kuol Manyang? The SPLA is not just on the outskirts of Malakal... you are 35 km outside the State capital. You didn’t vacate Malakal in order to prevent any damage to an already completely destroyed city — you were forced out of Malakal because you didn’t preempt this by taking the West bank of the Nile. Your sugar coated lies will not help the situation.

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    • 1 July 2015 05:54, by Ahmed Chol

      The number of soldiers who will die in this town call Malakal on both sides will be more than all the number of soldiers dead in all towns combined when the war end at sometimes in the next 20 years or so. Any soldier deployed around Malakal on either side by the rebels or by the government is destined to die whether he likes it or not. There is no escape!

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      • 1 July 2015 06:18, by Lotodo Awino Odug

        it is getting too much for soldiers, gelweng of Uppernile and jonglei should mobilize and do what the Bul did in Unity state, to help the army liberate Akobo, Malakal and Pagak. this capture and recapture is waste of lives. they need to be push to the borders before any peace can be signed.

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        • 1 July 2015 06:44, by Mi diit

          Lotodo,

          Do you think it is that easy as you said? My friend it is not like eating kisira or drinking wine. It is deadly and this is why the government despite all the weapons and munitions, it has taken 18 months failing to defeat the rebels. Back to square one in Malakal. The rebels will now use the good airport to....

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          • 1 July 2015 07:17, by Clausewitz

            Mi diit:

            From what I can gather from his posts, Lotodo was a soldier [a warrior] in the SPLA and fought an enemy with far more sophisticated and destructive weaponry than we have in our possession. The palette of destructive weaponry in Khartoum’s possession included jet fighters, bombers, rocket artillery and helicopter gunships...

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            • 1 July 2015 07:23, by Clausewitz

              ..Lotodo and other such patriotic warriors fought Khartoum for decades when you were working for Khartoum; when you had the luxury of the aforementioned arsenal at your disposal through your masters in Khartoum; when you had 100, 000 SAF troops fighting against us; when you had 70, 000 PDF and Murahaleen militiamen fighting against us. You take pride in months, we’ll take pride in decades.

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          • 1 July 2015 13:51, by Lotodo Awino Odug

            It should have been done long ago, the problem with eagle infantry is not because they are incapable. the reason for delay is that they don’t just want to capture, get overstretch and the towns retaken later.they want to capture, stabilize and adequately deploy in areas they captured to a void humiliating defeats.

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        • 1 July 2015 08:31, by Nuer

          My friend, mobilizing whoever, including you to clear Lou Nuer land or Malakal is not easy as a word of mouth, even your husbands bull Nuer knows and should informed you. Instead, Lou Youths should be mobilize to go and clear oil field in upper Nile then Juba in one month time for the war to end once and for all.

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          • 1 July 2015 08:43, by Clausewitz

            Nuer:

            The SPLA already took Uror county — one of your counties, so enough of the chest-thumping nonsense. The rebels have been using all the Nuer sections in Jonglei and Upper Nile in their failed attempts to take the oilfields. Your lands [in their entirety] were burnt to the ground in retribution for the Bor massacre in the 90s, even when Kharoum helped you against us.

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            • 1 July 2015 10:17, by Nuer

              Clausewitz,

              It was just in May, when 90,000 gvt troops comprise of all Bor youths, mathiang Anyor, Spla, your husbands UDF, M23, nuba, and fuj, well equiped, with cluster bombs, 50 tanks, 250 vehicles Were defeated and humiliated by only fearless DD3 youths before they were join by their brothers from Akoba, and Nyirol. so stop talking nonsense here.

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              • 1 July 2015 10:29, by Clausewitz

                Nuer:

                90, 000 troops? LOL! Are you on drugs? Don’t do drugs. Stop smoking crack. But maybe I’m wrong... maybe you’re not doing drugs. You may just be a victim of your upbringing. The kind of upbringing that encourages you to spurn logic and critical thinking. Your ’prophets’ were able to convince you that you could come back from the dead. You guys are too funny.

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        • 1 July 2015 09:57, by Rami Tot

          Lotodo Awino Odug

          i am from Bul take care and mind your words those who innocents are not bul and pay big prices for it because they kill, rape and loots innocents properties watch out what we will do for them in near future, we will eliminates all of them soon

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          • 1 July 2015 13:41, by Lotodo Awino Odug

            SPLM have no options, it has to fight to survive or dissolves her institutions and let others try their luck. no party keep firing those who tell the truth and expect to be in service for long. with Aleu fired, Makuei sick and Malaak fired. can anybody tell me who is their in Juba to inspire the soldiers. I know Deng Dau can help but he is a politician.

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        • 1 July 2015 10:02, by Rami Tot

          Lotodo Awino Odug

          by the way we will drake them all of them to court including the Dinka government the problem is all Bl generals are not literate this prepares fertile soil to Dinka government and used them for committing crimes

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  • 1 July 2015 06:53, by hellonearth

    Lotodo,
    What has been happening the last 19 months? You failed to defeat us isn’t that so? So all your cheap talk should be damped into the toilet. Your Dinka born to rule rubbish time is over. You will now face the wrath of the people of South Sudan. Mark my words

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    • 1 July 2015 14:11, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      A rebellion by Nuer and for Nuer will never amount to anything, Nuer are naturally born underachievers, there are no reasons to make me believe that they will win over anyone. you will surrender in the end after sacrificing 75,000 gelwengs in vain.

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