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SPLA withdrew Friday night, SAF entered Heglig – Machar

April 21, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s Vice President, Riek Machar, has confirmed that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) entered Heglig town on Friday night.

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South Sudan’s vice president, Riek Machar (BBC)

Machar has just returned to Juba from near the conflict zone in Unity State’s capital, Bentiu when he made the remarks.

South Sudan’s VP confirmed the entrance of SAF forces explaining that the withdrawal of the South Sudan army (SPLA) came as a result of a resolution made by the cabinet in Juba on Friday.

Machar dismissed the claims by Sudan’s President Omer Hassan al-Bashir that his forces defeated the SPLA and subsequently entered the disputed town yesterday.

He went on to say that the SPLA forces withdrew under the cover of the night on Friday, paving way way for SAF to enter at dawn on Saturday.

The Sudanese government said it entered on Friday after three decisive battles that erupted with SPLA since Thursday. The defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein said that they inflicted heavy losses on the SPLA troops there.

(ST)