South Sudan Rebels Recapture Malakal, Government Troops on the Run

Malakal, February 18, 2014 (SSNA) — Rebel forces loyal to the South Sudanese Former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar have recaptured Malakal in the early hours of Tuesday.

The rebels seized the capital of the oil-rich Upper Nile State early Tuesday after days of fierce fighting. The government of South Sudan depends heavily on oil revenues.

A rebel commander who spoke to the South Sudan News Agency on condition of anonymity said their troops have defeated combined forces of Uganda and South Sudan stationed in Malakal.

“They are running toward Paloch and our forces are pursuing them”, the source said.

Rebels demand the withdrawal of Ugandan troops from South Sudan and want the four remaining political prisoners released. But, Uganda refuses, asserting that it has interests in the young nation and that Juba also requests military help from Kampala.

Senior figures of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party who are still in government custody are: Majak D’Agoot, Pagan Amum, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, and Oyai Deng Ajak.

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