Home | News    Wednesday 8 July 2015

S. Sudan rebels overrun key administrative headquarters in N. Bahr el Ghazal

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July 7, 2015 (JUBA) - South Sudanese rebels allied to former vice-president, Riek Machar, have overrun a key administrative headquarters in Northern Bahr El Ghazal state before eventually withdrawing, state government officials and armed opposition fighters said on Tuesday.

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Rebel fighters aligned with former vice-president Riek Machar march through a village inside rebel-controlled territory in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state on 9 February 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

The rebels, according to Aweil Centre county commissioner, William Ajonga Deng, carried out an attack on the area in early hours of Tuesday, overrunning the county administrative headquarters without any resistance from the government forces before pulling out.

“The rebel forces came at the time when nobody was up. People were sleeping. So they knew our forces would not respond to their aggression. They entered the county headquarters at around 2:00 a.m. and evacuated at 4:00 a.m,” Deng told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

He however downplayed the significance of the night raid by the rebels who avoided military installations, saying their operation was only limited to looting civilian property and not with an objective of taking over the town from the government.

“They did not kill anybody but looted the market. They took food and medicines from the stores and they left before our forces came,” commissioner Deng said.

The top county official however said security situation in the county was alarming in the state, home to the army’s chief of general staff, Paul Malong Awan, claiming rebels under the command of defected army General Dau Aturjong, who also hails from the Dinka inhabited state, had opened fire on his house after managing to get inside the house with the aim to loot.

“They entered my house and opened fire, lucky enough I was not at home. I was out,” he said.

Meanwhile the spokesperson of the rebel forces under the overall command of General Dau Aturjong, confirmed their forces attacked and overran the county administrative headquarters in the area as a way to send the government message that they were capable of overrunning even Aweil town, capital of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state.

“Our forces overran several key administrative units in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state. We withdrew our forces from Aroyo because their mission was accomplished. We simply wanted to send a clear and strong message that we are capable of attacking and overrunning strategic places, including Aweil town itself. You know Aroyo is less than one hour drive from Aweil town,” spokesperson for Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, Abdullah Kuot, said on Tuesday.

The opposition official claimed their forces did not kill anybody because they were not targeting civilians and their properties. He denied that they looted the market and medical stores.

He said they were freedom fighters to liberate the people from the “dictatorial” government of president Salva Kiir, a government which he said had lost legitimacy and continued to kill the people its claimed to represent.

Fighting between government troops and their foreign allies and the rebels has been concentrating in the three states of the oil-rich greater Upper Nile region, home to rebel leader Riek Machar, probably over the control of the country’s main resources that provide up to 98% of the nation’s budget.

However, of recent, the war has been spreading to the other seven states of the two regions of Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria, although with snail’s pace. There has been rebel attacks in Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Western Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria states.

Peace talks brokered by the East African regional bloc (IGAD) to try to bring to an end the 19-month long civil war are expected to resume in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, this July.

(ST)

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  • 8 July 2015 09:40, by Kenyang

    Dinka Malual & entire NBG is geniunely shaming Riek parasites. They had not, can’t and will never have significance support from the area as we already predicted. Sudantribune, aka Riek mouthpiece should differentiate btwn military victories and vulgaries.

    repondre message

  • 8 July 2015 10:23, by Altruistic

    Rebel groups have no military objectives at all; they are a bunch of thugs whose goals are destructions, looting and killing of innocent civilians. The rebel action is, in contrast to what the claim.

    repondre message

    • 8 July 2015 10:45, by Altruistic

      As they claimed that they are fighting to protect civilians from dictatorial regime. If they wanted the people of South Sudan to be believed that than capture one of the town or state capital and assure the civilians that they will be protected in liberated area(s) and services will be provided to them.

      repondre message

    • 8 July 2015 10:58, by Altruistic

      As they claimed that they are fighting to protect civilians from dictatorial regime. If they wanted the people of South Sudan to be believed that than capture one of the town or state capital and assure the civilians that they will be protected in liberated area(s) and services will be provided to them.

      repondre message

  • 8 July 2015 11:00, by Altruistic

    And implement one of the SPLM/A strategies that was used during our liberation struggled - be on civilians side so that the civilians can have a confident on you and eventually you will get support their support in that way you will be able to achieve a military and political objectives. Rather than seizing town (s) just for purpose of looting, destructions and killing of civilians which will lead

    repondre message

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