South Sudan army ‘recaptures key town of Bor’

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir says his forces have recaptured the key town of Bor, days after it was seized by rebels in a week-long conflict. Forces loyal to Mr Kiir's ex-deputy Riek Machar were "on

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir says his forces have recaptured the key town of Bor, days after it was seized by rebels in a week-long conflict.

Forces loyal to Mr Kiir’s ex-deputy Riek Machar were “on the run”, the information minister said. The rebels have not commented on the claim.

There has been a week of fighting amid a struggle between Mr Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and Mr Machar, of the Nuer.

The UN earlier said that it had reports of at least three mass graves.

One was in Bentiu in the north, and two in the capital, Juba.

It said there was “palpable fear” among civilians that they would be killed for their ethnicity.

‘Back in control’

President Kiir told journalists in Juba: “Forces loyal to the government have taken Bor and are now clearing whatever forces that are remaining there.”

Information Minister Michael Makwei told Agence France Presse: “The army captured Bor around sunset and the rebel forces are now on the run… We are back in control.”

UN special representative for South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, said the UN could not confirm the claims but said it did appear government forces were in control of at least some parts of the town.

Bor, 200km (125 miles) north of Juba, had been one of the major successes for the rebels. They are believed to still be in control of Bentiu, capital of the oil-producing Unity State.

Some 17,000 civilians had sought refuge in a UN camp in Bor after the rebels took over.

UN officials say at least 80,000 people have been displaced by the South Sudan crisis – about half of them seeking shelter at a number of UN bases.

Radio Tamazuj said government troops of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army had launched attacks on positions held by Nuer commander and army defector Peter Gadet on Tuesday afternoon in Bor.

Some reports said there was still fighting near the airport, and Mr Makwei also said that “shooting continued”.

Mr Kiir said there was also fighting in the town of Malakal and that his troops were “ready to capture Bentiu”.

Earlier, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said: “There is a palpable fear among civilians of both Dinka and Nuer backgrounds that they will be killed on the basis of their ethnicity.”

UNHCR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said a UN official had seen 14 bodies in a mass grave in Bentiu and another 20 at a riverside nearby.

But she said 75 SPLA soldiers, all Dinka, were unaccounted for there and were feared dead.

The other two reported mass grave sites are at Jebel-Kujur and Newside, near Eden, in Juba.

President Kiir and Mr Machar have both said they are willing to talk.

However, Mr Machar has said his detained political allies must first be freed, while Mr Kiir says there should be no preconditions.

Mr Machar told Radio France Internationale he had spoken to US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday. Mr Machar said he had formed a delegation for talks and that they would probably be held in Ethiopia.

He said: “We want a democratic nation. We want democratic free and fair elections. We want Salva Kiir to call it a day.”

Mr Kiir has accused Mr Machar, who he sacked in July, of plotting a coup. Mr Machar denies he is trying to seize power.

The official death toll in the week of fighting stands at 500, but the figure may be much higher.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for an increase in the UN’s peacekeepers from 6,800 to about 11,800. A Security Council vote on the resolution is expected later on Tuesday.

Sudan suffered a 22-year civil war that left more than a million people dead before the South became independent in 2011.

Source: BBC

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13 COMMENTS
  • Kabbire December 24, 2013

    Lets cross our fingers that this may be over soon, provided that the US, Uganda and Ethiopia are constructively involved.
    No one expects the Eritrean regime will come to the rescue of the Eritreans caught in this crisis, though the regime never fails to ask the Eritreans for more money at any cost as it also sells Eritreans into the horrible and savage Arab slavery for hard currency.

    • Said December 24, 2013

      Kabbire my friend, what happened to you ,you in the arabia , you sound like you got raped. why would you want to go to war with Arab, you can even go to war with the dictator. wake up man smell the coffee that’s what the money is going to come from to free Eritra . get out of your hate izone. you sound like you dictator, you want to beat up everybody, hater..

      • Suleiman Salim December 24, 2013

        Said,

        Kabbire is Ethiopian. Dictator Meles Zenawi raped the entire so-called Eritrean opposition and the Arabs in their turn raped Kabbire. I think you too were abused by the late DICTATOR of Ethiopia. Get some help!!

        • Said December 25, 2013

          Salim I don’t that his from Ethoipia that’s even worth he get jake.
          at it’s for I will be cande this time .

          • Said December 25, 2013

            corrections at it’s for you I will be cande this time .

        • Shaka December 26, 2013

          Said /suleiman
          If Kabbire is Ethiopian you must be jiberty from Shire

    • Kalighe December 25, 2013

      People like Kabbire and his master YG are very unfortunate. They hate to be called Ethiopians, because that makes them foreigners in the country they were either born or lived for long time. The hate to be Eritreans (deep inside) because they don’t feel so, they are not naturalized enough to be so.
      Strangely, they think this unfortunate situation in which they find themselves is, because of Ghedli and the Arabs who supported it. They have difficulty to accept the fact that Eritrea is now a sovereign nation like Ethiopia. Some of them (Kabbire in particular) think they can do some damage to Eritrea, if they keep hammering Arab hate and call Eritrean Muslims Arab slaves. When the right time comes this problem too will be fixed.

      • Aba-Chegora December 26, 2013

        Theare many of us who feel both eritrean and ethiopian at the same time. In essence one needs to be ethiopian first in order to be an eritrean. If a person was never ethiopian ( before eritrea was created vy the italians) the person can not claim to be a pure eritrean.This is simply the fact. I think we as eritreans need to accept that ethiopia is for us not kenia or uganda. Ethiopia is the root of every true eritrean. Of course now eritrea is free and independent nation. Yet, ethiopia remains the mother of eritrea. By the way, we need to think of some kind of federation with ethiopia to mend the relation which is badly damaged by the current leaders of thiopia and eritrea.

  • Dani December 24, 2013

    The Eritrean embassy is doing its best to protect the Eritreans in Juba. The embassy is following the day to day situation and briefing Eritreans. The governments of Eritrea should not involve in this crises beside giving humanitarian aid to the people of south Sudan.

    • Kalighe December 25, 2013

      The Eritrean Embassy is looking after Higdef’s illegal investments and money transfer activities in the country (like everywhere else). The last thing they think of is Eritrean’s interest or safety. They are behind the “cash cow” anything else is at the bottom of their priority list.

  • Said December 25, 2013

    The Erirean embassy it’s best you mike make me laugh, were are u getting
    Report from , Eritren government, is asking for 80 dollar if they want to be safe.what cande safety, we don’t now , dictator his hearting for money.

  • t December 25, 2013

    Hi Dani on which planet are you living? The Eritrean Embassy rather robbs and kills it’s own people in this kind of situation.My advise to you is you may kiss their ass or you could be a beneficiary from the regime so you better shut your mouth until the time comes.

  • john January 28, 2014

    Wey Xegem Ata Tebalikum Ember, Kabtti Zwerdena Zelo Ezzi Nenhdhdkum Tbahlewo Zelkum Afrhiuna.Please if u Eritreans try to be carefull before writting . SelamenFthn N Hzbi Eritrea Kemuwun n klu Zteshegere Hzbi Alem !!!

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