South Sudan’s rebels say ‘in total control’ of Mayom County, dismiss government’s victory claim

Addis Ababa, May 2, 2015 (SSNA) — South Sudanese rebels said on Friday that the latest fighting in the oil-rich Unity State ended without a winner, adding that the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) voluntarily withdrawn its forces before government troops declared victory.

“The fighting that took place yesterday [Thursday] in Unity state did not favor any side,” The office of rebels’ Spokesman said in a statement.

The rebels also slammed government’s victory claim, saying the SPLA-IO made a “tactical withdrawal” not a defeat, citing civil population.

“It was military tactical withdrawal from SPLA/IO FORCES but not [a] defeat as the government claims,” the statement further asserted.

The SPLA-IO disclosed that its soldiers are in full control of Mayom County and that any claim by the government that it still controls Mayom is “baseless.”

“We are still in Mayom County around Bull two area[s]. The claims from the government to have control Mayom is totally baseless,” the statement added.

Heavy fighting erupted on Monday between South Sudan’s rival forces in Unity State after government troops launched surprised attacks on rebels’ positions in Guit County and Nhial-Diu Payam.

Earlier this week, the rebels said Juba and its foreign allies are in desperate move to raise money to finance the ongoing civil war against the SPLA-IO. The rebels further revealed that latest attacks against their outposts are parts of government’s grand plan to try to take back oil fields and resume oil production. Juba denied the allegations.

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