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South Sudan says rebels overrun strategic town in Central Equatoria


August 24, 2015 (JUBA) - South Sudanese government admitted that rebel forces under the leadership of former vice president, Riek Machar, unexpectedly overran a strategic town in central Equatoria state on Monday morning, causing panic and anxiety among the local population.

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South Sudanese soldiers patrol the streets of Unity state capital Bentiu on 12 January 2014 (Photo: Simon Maina/AFP)

State officials and residents told Sudan Tribune on Monday that armed men attacked Lainya town before they withdrew from the area.

The group, according to the Security Advisor in Central Equatoria state, Brigadier General Abraham Wani, overran the police post and seized several riffles.

“The attack took place this morning at around 3:00am. They managed to overrun the police post and took away with them some rifles,” Wani told reporters on Monday.

The state official explained that there were no reports of casualties resulting from the attack but believed the attackers were rebels.

“Of course the way they carried out their operation shows that they are rebels,” he claimed.

He further explained that the police forces in the area were overpowered, but said nobody was killed.

He however added that people in all the payams and counties of the state should be on high alert and report such cases to the government as the rebels were mobilizing in the area.

Lainya town, home to government’s cabinet minister, Martin Elia Lomoro, is about 90kms south of the national capital, Juba, and about 70kms to Yei near the Ugandan border.

The spokesperson of the government forces was not available for comments on the incident.

Armed opposition leader’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, also confirmed to Sudan Tribune that their forces captured Lainya town before they tactically withdrew.

On Sunday, the rebel group issued a statement saying their forces clashed with government troops after the government forces attacked their position around Lainya area.

They said they repulsed government forces, destroying six trucks and killing 20 people.

The opposition group accused the government of trying to derail the peace agreement the rebel leader, Riek Machar, inked in Addis Ababa by resorting to military activity.

President Kiir is left with one week to sign the peace deal as international community warns of imminent action against the government if it refuses to join the rebel leader by signing the document to end the 20-month long conflict in the country.


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  • 25 August 2015 00:15, by lino

    Tom and Jerry situations from now on. Government is on the hot seat sign for PEACE or you got burned badly!!!

    repondre message

    • 25 August 2015 07:52, by Mi diit

      Government should stop attacking rebels. They will not remove them from areas they control. SPLA-IO is all over South Sudan’s ten states including in Warrap. So when ceasefire is declared the rebels will have their bases intact in all the ten states under the command of Dr. Riek Machar during the transitional period. Any mistake by Kiir will be met equally by force.

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      • 25 August 2015 08:01, by Khent

        Riek’s rebels are interspersed in small numbers in Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria but they don’t really pose a threat to government forces in these areas. I have to laugh at Sudan Tribune’s reporting on matters like this; every little ’town’ is presented as ’strategic’ once it comes under [brief] attack by the rebels. This ’town’ was so ’strategic’ in fact that it was only manned by police.

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        • 25 August 2015 09:32, by Mi diit


          I think Sudan Tribune is correct to call Lainya strategic because it lies on Juba-Yei road. Its capture can cut off Juba from Yei, etc.

          And capturing a government town definitely poses a threat to the government.

          I think you are not a good analyst.

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          • 25 August 2015 10:02, by Khent

            You do not have the ability to capture and cut-off any areas of strategic importance in Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal. There is a big difference between momentarily overrunning a town manned by a small handful of police and actually capturing a strategic town from the armed forces for a prolonged period of time. You’re a good analyst? LOL! You believe in Ngundeng fairy-tales, so you’re dismissed.

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    • 25 August 2015 10:54, by dad1

      who cares bout simples mosquitos and looters of casava, a war should have wounded and a dead person in absent of these that is not a war. rebel like responsibities one day they hear some one fighting he don’t like peace and they will say we are responsibl

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  • 25 August 2015 04:37, by Hardlinner

    Those loose rebels are nothing but a bunches of thieves. They post no major threat and do not follow any order from their warlord riek. Even if peace is sign today, those renegades would still be active. So kiir have to create contions to IGAD regarding those rock rebels. Or else riek would have to fight his own created rebels to silent them once and for all, or else his quotas as to reduce .

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    • 25 August 2015 08:11, by Khent

      Salva Kiir is a failed ’leader’, Hardlinner. Dr. John Garang would not have had any problems dealing with an idiot like Riek. If Garang was alive today, Riek would not have been anywhere near the vice presidency post.

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      • 25 August 2015 09:35, by Mi diit

        Oh, really? So to you it is better for one to be dead than to be near the visionary leader, Dr. Riek, right?

        Well, they will all die and leave Dr. Riek alive for God knows what good Riek is doing for the nation.

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        • 25 August 2015 10:08, by Khent

          Where have I argued that being dead was a good thing? Where do these idiotic straw-men arguments come from? Dr. John Garang allowed Riek to return knowing fully well that Riek was intellectually, politically and military weaker than him and that he could control him. A lot of evil men live long lives and the ’good die young’. It has nothing to do with ’God’.

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          • 25 August 2015 10:40, by Khent

            Your lack of reading comprehension is also preventing you from clearly understanding what has been clearly laid out for you. Riek has never been a visionary. The man is a myopic fool. Historians have described Riek’s political strategies as schizophrenic. Riek committed the folly of being so desperately reliant upon Khartoum for supplies, weapons, ammunition and logistical support.

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      • 25 August 2015 19:40, by Aguj-raan

        I totally agree with you Khent, when Dr. Garang was alive Riek was nobody, and the biggest mistake President Kiir made was appointing Riek as his VP, that made Machar feel like he’s important, now look at what happening he became the biggest pain in South Sudanese asses, to get rid of him will take a lot of work (I don’t know what’s Military Intelligence Agency waiting for, this is their job.

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  • 25 August 2015 08:25, by Son of Ngundeng

    Dear readers !!!
    Government always holding wrong ideas since the war started,
    (1) Kiir was thinking he will defeated the rebel within the week.

    (2) He brought M7 to defeat rebel within 4 days.
    (3) Malong give rebel one month to defeat them.
    (4) Kiir beg IGAD to give him 15 days to create insecurity in order to ruin peace, All in All fail.
    Son of prophet
    currently in frontline
    Pathay, J.S

    repondre message

    • 25 August 2015 08:52, by Panda Odhie

      According to Radio Tamazuj say guns were stolen in the police station by unknown attackers, but rebels claimed to be their groups what a confusion created by Riek and his gang group to South Sudanese. They are not rebels as they claim but village gang or terrorist. Those Equatorian are doing what they will not manage.

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    • 25 August 2015 11:09, by dad1

      son of ngundeng don’t say again you are in pathay, since you looted pathay by yourselves no single salt, soaps, clothes, sugar and sufurias left, don’t talk of having internet in pathay, you should be hiding some where and not pathay.

      repondre message

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