News / Africa

'Matter of Time' Before Army Retakes Bentiu, South Sudan Official Says

A Sudanese man carries a bed past South Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) national army soldiers patroling the town of Bentiu following its capture, Jan. 12, 2014.
A Sudanese man carries a bed past South Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) national army soldiers patroling the town of Bentiu following its capture, Jan. 12, 2014.
Charlton Doki
A South Sudan army spokesman said Tuesday it was "a matter of time" before government forces regain control of Bentiu and another town in Unity state that have fallen to rebel forces.

"Unity state in general is a fighting area and it’s just a matter of time that the SPLA will re-establish control of Unity state or these areas of Bentiu and Mayom," said Colonel Philip Aguer, a spokesman for the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

"Things will change soon,” he said.

Forces opposed to the government of President Salva Kiir last week overran Bentiu, the capital of oil-producing Unity state, and on Monday said they captured the town of Mayom on the border with Warrap state.

The U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Monday accused the rebels of singling out people who were hiding during the fighting in Bentiu and killing them based on their ethnicity or nationality.

Aguer called what the rebels allegedly did "barbarism" and said the SPLA will do all it can to dislodge the rebels from areas they control.

“The SPLA is mandated by the constitution to stop those acts of barbarism. And it’s just a matter of time that the SPLA will control the area,” Aguer said. He said the SPLA is still in control of Unity state's oil fields. 

Rebels seek to shut down government oil production

Rebels say they want to shut down crude production to prevent the government spending the country's largest source of revenue on weapons. 

Lul Ruai Koang, an opposition spokesman, said anti-government troops have fanned out and captured several positions in Jonglei state, including the administrative headquarters of Duk county.

Koang also accused government forces of destroying bridges and other infrastructure in Unity state to try to prevent the rebels advancing beyond Mayom and Bentiu.

Aguer dismissed the allegation.

"It’s the rebels that have intentions to blow up bridges. They want to cover up their activities,” he said.

The recent increase in violence in Unity state has resulted in a sharp rise in the number of South Sudanese seeking shelter at U.N. facilities.

Joe Contreras, the acting spokesman for UNMISS, said there were around 12,000 people sheltering at the base in Bentiu last week, compared to around 4,000 at the start of the month when South Sudan peace talks were put on hold.

The talks are due to resume on Monday after a four-week break. The international community has warned that South Sudan is on the verge of famine if the fighting is not stopped immediately and aid allowed to get through to people in need.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mario Manyuon from: Juba
April 23, 2014 9:18 AM
The solution to South Sudan's problem is that, every family should convince their young not to take against individual or a any group.


by: Deng Tut from: Addis baba
April 23, 2014 4:42 AM
Greedy of power is a problem to whole African Nation and AU is not protecting the civilians but the leaders.
South Sudan's conflict is a simple issue but the IGAD is making business on it and the Government has not intends to kill his people and the Rebels are for destruction to take us back in 18c.
The government and Rebels are continues gambling on their usual business.
God is looking at them.


by: Human Eaters from: Juba
April 23, 2014 4:34 AM
The SPLA spokesman always saying that matter of time and everyday matter of time but Rebels don't says matter of time they just captured Towns without consider time.
If the government is not able to provide security to people then it is good for government's leadership to resign instead of wasting resources and life of civilians .

In Response

by: Atak Atem from: U.S.A. IA
April 23, 2014 2:48 PM
is it not passive obedience to the Reik Machar's policy to those who are backers him ? I think what happened at Unite State was actually a good news to the rebel's backers. To me the Kiir administration must do something important to protect people. Kiir should not resign as other people said. What happened not only in south Sudan,but it happened everywhere for instance , Libya , Syria etc. but those leaders non of them resigned. And no one of these rebel or protests got full freedom or step down any their leaders what they needed since 2011.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid