Home | News    Tuesday 19 May 2015

South Sudan army halts offensive to capture rebel headquarters


May 18, 2015 (JUBA) - South Sudanese army (SPLA) has quietly suspended a previous plan to launch full scale offensive on positions held by armed opposition faction led by former vice president, Riek Machar, including their headquarters in Pagak.

Soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) sit on a pick up truck during a patrol in Upper Nile state capital Malakal on 21 January 2014 (Photo: AFP/Harrison Ngethi)

Military officials said the plan to recapture rebels held towns in all the three states of Upper Nile region has been reversed by the recent defeat of government’s forces in many towns in Upper Nile state following the recapture of the state capital, Malakal.

A high ranking military officer told Sudan Tribune on Monday that the general command has decided to suspend previous orders and plans to advance and capture Leer, Akobo, Old Fangak and Pagak which are some of the areas held by the opposition forces.

“Given the current situation in Upper Nile state, the command decided to suspend previous plans and orders to move on the rebels of Riek Machar’s held positions as it was resolved, because of the international conspiracy,” a visibly angry looking top military officer told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

He blamed the rebels advance in Upper Nile state on western countries whom he accused of not accusing the opposition forces despite their advance against the positions of the government.

“You see the white man is the problem. You can see that the white keeps quiet when it is the rebels of Riek launching offensive on the position of our forces and make noise when our forces react in self-defence and follow the rebels of Riek Machar into their areas,” he said.

The senior army officer said western countries, including those who helped midwife South Sudan, have turned their back on the leadership of the country. He said the government will resist the conspiracy.

The government this week lost to the rebels Upper Nile state’s capital, Malakal, including several other previously government’s held towns including Akoka, Anakdiar, Kodok and Doleib hills following the fall of Malakal.

The chief of general staff, Paul Malong Awan, on Saturday told a military parade of the government’s troops marking the 32nd anniversary of the founding of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) that he had confidence in them to retake Malakal town within days.

Unofficial reports indicate that military sources on the ground fighting with the opposition forces told Sudan Tribune on Monday that government troops were battling it out with advancing opposition forces towards areas of Melut and surrounding areas in an attempt to capture Paloich oilfields.

“We are now reinforcing our forces in Melut and Paloich. We are also expecting more reinforcement to come today or tomorrow. The rebels are moving towards our positions but our forces are on high moral with all capabilities to deal with them and flash them out of Malakal. We will defeat them. We have enough forces on the ground,” he said.

Observers however said the joint operations of the rebel forces and militia group led by Johnson Olony have resulted to the government losing many towns and villages to the opposition group.


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  • 18 May 2015 22:22, by choldit

    Wait for hours or full day. U will be happy if u are Dr. Riek supporter but u will be so sad if u are Kiir his. Palouch and Adar will be in SPLA -IO starting in hours, mark my words because I am here!

    repondre message

    • 18 May 2015 22:26, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      Break their momentum before they reach Paloich, If they manage to take Paloich oil fields, then Kiir is done politically.

      repondre message

  • 18 May 2015 23:04, by Kim Deng

    You can capture towns/villages, yet it could not be the end of the war, which your cowad King imposed on Nuer nation. You can capture Akobo, Fangak, Pagak including the Holy Land (Waat), yet the Mighty Nuer Warriors (MNW) could not dare to surrender. For your info, the MNW are more than ready to face Dinka Kingdom and its allies for at least 50 years.

    repondre message

  • 18 May 2015 23:29, by Mr Point

    Why exactly have the western countries turned their back on this country where the kleptocratic President massacred civilians and started a civil war?

    Why do they think of a failed state and a failed leader?

    repondre message

  • 19 May 2015 00:50, by Gunkills

    Supporters of Nuer rebellion you are deceived by this Malakal crisis to give you hope. Lets see if Malakal will be still under Oliny by Wednesday leave alone those places Sudantribune has just said that Government have stopped advancing. And also wait to see what Africans are cooking in Angola conference that is taking place now. Riek will remain in exile forever. Great thanks to African brothers

    repondre message

  • 19 May 2015 04:19, by mass

    Stop blaming the Western civilization for problems you incur upon yourselves.It is your very deep arrogance and hatred towards democracy and civil transformation is the root cause of the south Sudan conflict. It is good now that Salva’s regime is hanging in balance. Anyone with discerning mind should therefore offer a moral and political support for spla/m in opposition because they are for people

    repondre message

    • 19 May 2015 10:07, by Rommel


      Any person with a discerning mind and a working moral compass would not support a mass murderer like Riek. Riek murdered close to 30, 000 civilians in 1991. Salva killed thousands of civilians in 2013 and is ultimately responsible for a conflict that has resulted in the deaths of 50, 000 civilians. Both are murderers and thus tainted. Both are illegitimate.

      repondre message

  • 19 May 2015 07:14, by Eastern

    Any sane South Sudanese would no that it was not going to be possible for a mechanised army to move more than 50km outside their barracks anywhere in the Greater Upper Nile; the sticky black cotton soils won’t permit that. Movement by foot is equally challenging this time of the year. Both SPLA camps know this fact!

    repondre message

  • 19 May 2015 08:39, by Son of Ngundeng

    Dear Dinka:
    Wai wai wai why you crying like a women, when you see the victory turning on the right side?

    Kiir will Die on 9/july/ 2015.

    And we will have a new president any one must think positively before you become our slave.

    Son of Ngundeng
    in front line
    Malakal Getta Jenubi.

    repondre message

    • 19 May 2015 08:52, by Rommel

      Son of Ngundeng:

      How many times have you idiots predicted the death of Salva Kiir or his downfall? You keep on moving the dates, because contrary to your pretenses of clairvoyance, you cannot predict the future. Ngundeng this, Ngundeng that. You are all superstitious idiots. Keep your wet dreams to yourselves... we will not be ’slaves’ to Khartoum’s slaves.

      repondre message

    • 19 May 2015 10:03, by Kenyang

      Son of Ngundeng,
      Riek militias & Allies should look on their history book. They can desperately try but will never unseat Salva Kiir or be accepted by mainstream South Sudanese. Give it a little time and be a judge.

      repondre message

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