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South Sudan army vows hot pursuit of rebels after retaking Malakal town


July 6, 2015 (JUBA) - South Sudanese army (SPLA) said on Monday it will pursue the rebels after regaining control of the strategic town of Malakal, capital of the oil-rich Upper Nile state, sparking security and humanitarian concerns after armed opposition fighters allied to the former vice president Riek Machar, withdrew from the town on Monday.

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Soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) assembled in the capital, Juba on 8 January 2014 (Photo: Mehmet Kemal Firik/Anadolu Agency/Getty)

The SPLA deputy chief of general staff for operations, Lieutenant General James Ajonga Mawut told Sudan Tribune on Monday that the government troops have retaken the town after a series of fighting with the armed opposition forces outside the town before eventually entering it without resistance.

“I am talking to you in the operation area. Everything is under control. The rebels have fled and our forces are pursuing them,” General Mawut told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

“But this time we will not leave them. It will not be like the other operation. We have tolerated their criminal activities. We will give them hot pursuit. We will go after them since they do not abide by what they themselves have agreed and signed,” he claimed.

Mawut said the general command was forced to act against the alleged rebel activities to launch counter offensive to regain control of Malakal town and other areas in Jonglei and Unity states.

The chief of general staff of the government forces, Paul Malong Awan, he said, was also in the area overseeing the military operations in the state.

“We are all here. The general command is here. The chief of general staff is here for this operation. There must be an end to this,” he said.

Meanwhile the Upper Nile state minister of information, Peter Hoth Tuach, confirmed in a separate interview with Sudan Tribune that the government forces have regained control of the state capital.

“There has been heavy fighting for the last two days. The rebels moved out of Malakal and attempted to make advance on the position of our gallant SPLA forces in Akoka and Kodok but they were defeated and pursued and today they were dislodged from Malakal town,” Tuach told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

The state government’s spokesperson also confirmed the presence of the top military leadership in the area, pointing out that the presence of the chief of general staff, Paul Malong Awan, and many other senior commanders to personally oversee the military operations had added pressure on the government forces to regain control of the area.

“The chief of general staff has been here for the last three days. He is overseeing the operation against the rebels. They will now be pursued wherever they go”, he said.

But the armed opposition fighters rubbished the government’s claims of foreseeable victory saying such comments were not new.

“These comments of imaginary military victories are not new. We have heard these before. Somebody sent in foreign troops and promised that his interference would end the war militarily in four days. This did not happen. Another one came in as new army chief last year and vowed he would crush all our forces in 30 days. It did not happen,” rebel leader’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

“Today we are approaching 20 months fighting. The best way to end the war is through peaceful political peace agreement,” Dak added.

He pointed out that there was no fighting that took place inside Malakal town on Monday as alleged by the government’s military and political officials, saying their forces tactically withdrew from the town without a gunshot.


The deputy spokesperson for UN secretary general, Farhan Haq said its mssion in South Sudan (UNMISS) reportedly heard three mortar rounds this morning fired from positions northeast of the mission’s compound towards Malakal town in the oil-rich region.

"Shortly thereafter, UNMISS observed approximately 400 SPLA troops driving past its compound in the direction of Malakal town led by tanks and armored personnel carriers," Haq said in a brief statement he extended to Sudan Tribune on Monday.

"No fighting was subsequently heard, indicating that SPLA troops have regained control of the Upper Nile State capital and armed opposition forces had withdrawn from Malakal prior to the arrival of government troops", he added.

Peace talks to try to end the war between the two rival factions is expected to resume this July in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.


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  • 7 July 2015 06:57, by Gabriel Ajak

    Riak Machar spokesperson plus other rebel who said the rebel army was not defeated in Malakal but tactically withdrawal, the question is why and what happen to withdraw while u have capture it?

    repondre message

    • 7 July 2015 07:09, by Mi diit

      Gabriel Ajak,

      There is nothing in Malakal now. The rebels proved they can capture a town from the government whenever they wanted to. Take Malakal and the rebels are heading to Paloch and cut off your head there. Soon your friends will have no pay and disappear.

      Ahaha...All SPLA leadership is there? This means they feel the heat.

      Gen Simon Gatwech Dual and Gen Peter Gatdet are not yet there.

      repondre message

      • 7 July 2015 08:15, by Mi diit

        UN in this article clearly confirmed that government forces entered Malakal without fighting.

        Rebels withdrew before and government forces only came in to reoccupy the empty town.

        They only fired three mortars to test if rebels were inside the town. Ahahahaaaaaaaaaaa......

        Now to Paloch (Puot Loch) oilfield.

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        • 7 July 2015 08:17, by Mi diit

          Dr. Machar should make Poloich oilfields a gift to rebels for celebration of July 9 independence. Rebels should capture it or close its oil operations.

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          • 7 July 2015 09:52, by Clausewitz

            Mi diit:

            You really are delusional. Exactly just how do you suppose the rebels can move thousands of combatants and heavy weaponry in the direction of Paloich without being noticed? It’s clear that the rebels were defeated before the SPLA entered Malakal.

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            • 7 July 2015 09:54, by Clausewitz

              James Gadet Dak is distorting, as usual. Museveni did not say that he would crush Riek’s forces within four days... he actually said that the East African bloc would intervene against Riek if Riek did not respond to the ceasefire offer after four days. There’s a difference between the two. Source: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/650980-museveni-warns-machar.html

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      • 7 July 2015 11:23, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

        It is not a matter of showing you can capture, but to maintain and take more territories. We all know that rebels take towns only to loot food items for survival in the bush.
        It was initially meant to overthrow president Salva Kiir but it is now called sth to show manhood. Shame on you! It is b’se of peace & some innocent Nuer, otherwise............

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    • 7 July 2015 09:16, by Ayuen deng

      Trading in controlling Malakal will not solve the problem of South Sudan rather then finishing fresh blood of our beloved citizen in the game of power struggle.Rebels should stop attacking SPLA positions.Nobody on earth will solve our problem ,if don’t agree to the sense of having peace in South Sudan.

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      • 7 July 2015 15:35, by Mi diit

        Rommel (Clausewitz),

        You only believed in Ugandan new vision which distorted Museveni’s four days comment, but you don’t want to believe what South Sudanese heard from his comment. Interesting.

        At least you believed that Malong Awan’s 30 days expired more than 200 days ago.

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        • 7 July 2015 16:02, by Clausewitz

          Mi diit:

          You do realise that I can provide other sources with the same citations. Why do you always feel the need to fabricate a laughable conspiracy? Here’s another source from reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/30/southsudan-unrest-idUSL6N0K91NP20131230


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          • 7 July 2015 16:14, by Mi diit

            Rommel (Clausewitz),

            Ok defend your saviour Museveni. You don’t know that he says many things at different times. Four days ultimatum of foreign forces and four days to defeat the rebels are two different things.

            But I know how people like yourself believe in Museveni so much and would sacrifice your lives to defend his comments.


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          • 7 July 2015 16:15, by Clausewitz

            I provided two western sources and so I trust that you won’t now claim that the citations were distorted by the Ugandan website. Why do you always lie? Why do you always make claims that are not true? It might work amongst people that are naive and stupid enough to believe in Ngundeng nonsense but don’t try it outside your regular circles.

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            • 7 July 2015 16:24, by Clausewitz

              Museveni is not my ’savior’, he’s an intruder. He has no right involving himself in South Sudan’s domestic affairs. I despise Salva Kiir for inviting him in. I despise even more for allowing tens of thousands of Khartoum’s oilfield guard-dogs to dominate the army in 2006, which is why he was so vulnerable in 2013.

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  • 7 July 2015 07:46, by chuol

    AAAAAHAAAA! Look at this illegitimate government’ how many time opposition captured Malakal?

    We shall come back when so call government make more shipment and chase them out again to take the equipments through forceful meant as normal happened.

    Wait and See???

    Real Man in frontline

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  • 7 July 2015 08:07, by Son of Ngundeng

    Dear All:
    Clear lie from the mafia and thugs army, we left malakal at the time we captured from you !!!
    Between today and tomorrow you will heard the new development in Paloch, you will run to nowhere, you will mark my words 9/July will be bitter day for the president of Dinka Mafia in Juba and it will be very sweet to us in Bushes, SPLA-IO Oyeeeeee

    Son of Ngundeng
    currently in front

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  • 7 July 2015 08:08, by Padiet Deng Alony

    i do not care again at this time whether malakal is under rebel or goverment. rebel were told by the fifth column from within to withdraw from malakal. damn this tom and jerry game by the fifth column from within.

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  • 7 July 2015 10:27, by Alfredo christiani

    Peter Gatdiet with nickname MIIDIT
    Hahahaha Rebels are on ran toward Sudan refugee’s camps. Bravo SPLA . What do you say
    9 July will be enjoy in Malakal town by the president of the republic of South Sudan Mr Salva Kiir Mayardit, Kuol Manyang and King Pual Malong awan, while rebels will be suffering in the bushes without food hahahaha Peter Gatdiet nickname Miidit your days are numbered , you al

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    • 7 July 2015 15:37, by Mi diit

      Afredo Christiani,

      Are you sure I am who you said I am?

      And are you sure Salva Kiir will celebrate the 9 independence day in Malakal.

      I would love to see him there running like a mad man.

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      • 7 July 2015 16:05, by Clausewitz

        Mi diit:

        Of course, he’s wrong. Peter Gadet has worked for Khartoum for many years [traitor], but he’s a fighter — you are not. You’re just an empty-minded loud-mouth.

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        • 7 July 2015 16:17, by Mi diit

          Rommel (Clausewitz),

          You have rushed with this childish comment without know who Alfredo Christiani was talking about. He was not talking about Peter Gatdet but Peter Gatdiet. These are two different names. He meant Peter Gatdiet who is a popular social media contributor. Check his Facebook by this name.

          repondre message

          • 7 July 2015 16:30, by Clausewitz

            Mi diit:

            I thought he misspelt his name. Is this Gatdiet like you? Does he also believe in Ngudeng? Does he make up lies out of sheer desperation when cornered and left with no recourse?

            repondre message

            • 7 July 2015 18:42, by Bentiu Sudan

              The UNIMISS in Malakal reported that the rebels withdrawn from Malakal town on Sunday morning without any fight, but government came into Malakal town on Monday afternoon after they knew the rebels were not in the town.

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