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South Sudan defence and oil ministers visits Melut after rebel attack


May 23, 2015 (JUBA)- South Sudanese defence minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk, on Saturday headed a high level ministerial delegation that paid an inspection visit to Melut town, less than a week after an attack by a coalition of armed rebel forces.

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South Sudan’s Petroleum and Mining Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau (3rd R) applauds as he restarts oil production in the main oil field in Palouge, on May 5, 2013. (Reuters)

Petroleum minister, Stephen Dhieu Dau, chief of General staff of the government forces, Paul Malong Awan, among several officials and military officers accompanied Minister Juuk.

Upper Nile state information Minister, Peter Hoth Tuach told Sudan Tribune on Saturday, the ministerial delegation visited market area, the riverside where the government troops reportedly destroyed boats used by the rebels to shell and capture the town.

“The minister of defence was received on arrival by the sector commander Gen. Johnson Gony Bilieu and the state government officials. They visited all the areas in town and held talks with local officials and oil workers. They assured our people of the capability of the SPLA forces to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country,” the minister Tuach said on Saturday.

Minister Dau confirmed having visited his home town and birthplace, Melut, and Paloch, asserting that government forces were in complete control of the area.

“Our visit was to inspect the area and assure oil workers and our people of the capability of the government to provide adequate security not only to oil installations but also to the people in the area, ” the oil minister said.

“We assured them of the commitment of the government to protect the citizens and their resources. This responsibility has always been upheld by our gallant SPLA forces whenever there is a threat. They have demonstrated their abilities and capabilities by defeating the rebels of Riek Machar and forces of Johnson Olony in Melut,” he emphasised.

The minister said there was no danger to the oil production in the area because government troops were in firm control of the situation and also denied that armed opposition had captured oil refinery.

“Yes, the rebels of Riek Machar forces have tried to advance towards oil fields to destroy the oil installations and they controlled Melut for less than 24 hours but they were defeated by our gallant forces. They did not advance to where there are oil refineries,” he said.

The minister said he reassured oil workers and denied the evacuation of oil workers.

"The oil workers are there. I met them today and assured them of the capability of the government to provide adequate security. So it is not correct that oil workers have been evacuated. Why evacuate them and the government is control? There is no danger,” he said.

This is the first high level visit after heavy fighting in recent days in oil producing areas in Upper Nile state. It was meant to boost the morale of the government soldiers and assure local population.

Last Thursday the Chinese official TV announced the evacuation of 400 oil workers from Paloch oilfields in South Sudan due to the ongoing fighting in the oil-rich Upper Nile state territory.


Related articles

China evacuates oil workers from South Sudan oilfields over fighting: report

South Sudanese rebels withdraw tactically from Melut town: spokesperson

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  • 24 May 2015 00:01, by Ahmed Chol

    Think about how to obtain peace so that you are not in a constant struggle. What is it good for if all oil money is spent on ammunitions and tanks for the next 2 to 3 years or so? There is no Jallaba we are killing.

    repondre message

    • 24 May 2015 05:23, by Mi diit

      Bunch of liars and thieves....

      Read this:

      "Last Thursday the Chinese official TV announced the evacuation of 400 oil workers from Paloch oilfields in South Sudan due to the ongoing fighting in the oil-rich Upper Nile state territory."

      Soon Paloch oilfields will come under heavy attack. Oil operations will close indefinitely. Juba will starve and no more money to steal. Citizens do not care.

      repondre message

      • 24 May 2015 06:19, by Rommel

        Mi diit:

        You are in no position to brand others ’liars’ considering the many instances in which you have been caught lying. You were caught lying just days ago and so you shouldn’t at all be priggish. Truth is the first casualty of war and both sides have abused the truth; they have both embellished, distorted, exaggerated and denied the truth.

        repondre message

        • 24 May 2015 06:34, by Rommel

          It was only days ago that the rebels claimed [falsely] that they had already captured parts of the Paloich oilfields. Take stock of your own moral failings and your penchant for lying. Stop being being so cringingly unaware in your denunciation of others. Try to be objective, and for the love of God, stop lying. It doesn’t work. It never has worked. It never will work.

          repondre message

          • 24 May 2015 09:08, by Mi diit


            Are you not the liar, Rommel who said you were 23 years old? I trust the rebels. They said they control Malakal, captured Melut on Tuesday, withdrew on Wednesday and besieged Paloch. All are true. But you the "between’ guy behaves like a scavenger. G-10 supporter, I know you.

            repondre message

  • 24 May 2015 02:20, by lino

    I am not sure when this Government will be history so people can take up power.
    No hard or local currency in the bank so people can just eat and do their normal lives. I was trying to send money today from Canada and the Somalia Agent said they stopped sending money because banks don’t have currency to pay!!! Wow failed state right there.

    repondre message

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