South Sudan’s Rebels Recapture Malakal as Peace Talks Continue

Malakal, January 14, 2014 (SSNA) — Rebel forces loyal to the South Sudanese Former vice President Dr. Riek Machar, have recaptured Makalal from the government troops.

The rebels seized the capital of the oil-rich Upper Nile State late Tuesday, the South Sudan News Agency has learned. The SPLA defected forces attacked Malakal in the early hours of Tuesday and took full control of the city on Tuesday evening.

Reliable sources told the SSNA that at least 90 government soldiers have taken refuge in the United Nations compound, UNMISS. The number of casualties on both sides is unknown.

Efforts to try to get the government’s reaction on the seizure of Malakal went unrequited. However, source close to the SPLA Division 7 in Upper Nile State said the rebels still fighting government troops in some pockets of the city.

Meanwhile, rebels’ military spokesman Brigadier-General Lul Ruai Koang confirmed the recapture of the Malakal saying it was “an intense three days of fighting”.

On the 15th of December 2013, fighting erupted at about 10:00pm; between different units of presidential guards just one day after deep political disagreement between senior members of the ruling Sudan people liberation Movement (SPLM) party. Thousands of people are believed to have been killed in the conflict and many more are still missing.

Fierce fighting between rebels and government soldiers is still continuing in Upper Nile, Unity, and Jonglei States.

The two warring factions have sent delegations to Ethiopia in an attempt to try to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

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