News / Africa

South Sudan Opposition Says it Has Seized Bentiu - Again

A man carries a bed past South Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers patrolling the town of Bentiu on Jan. 12, 2014.
A man carries a bed past South Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers patrolling the town of Bentiu on Jan. 12, 2014.
A day after a top U.S. official warned that Washington will not hesitate to impose sanctions on anyone who blocks peace in South Sudan, army and opposition forces fought for control of Bentiu, the capital of the country's second biggest oil-producing state.
 
James Gatdet Dak, a spokesman for former vice president turned opposition leader Riek Machar, said anti-government forces took control of the town early Tuesday.

But Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) spokesman, Colonel Philip Aguer, said army troops were still in the town as of Tuesday afternoon, and the fighting was continuing
 
“We are waiting for reports from our field command. There is still fighting over Bentiu,” Aguer said.

Neither side was able to give casualty numbers.

Gatdet said the anti-government forces have given companies in the country’s two oil-producing states, Unity and Upper Nile, one week to halt operations. The opposition wants to shut down oil production to prevent the government of President Salva Kiir from using income from sales of crude to buy weapons, he said.
 
Joseph Contreras, the acting spokesman for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, said five foreign oil workers were injured in the fighting in Unity state, two of them critically. U.N. peacekeepers evacuated 10 foreign oil workers Monday after they were caught  up in attacks on an oil refinery some 30 kilometers (18 miles) outside Bentiu.

Unity state produces around 15 percent of South Sudan's oil, while Upper Nile produces the remaining 85 percent. Both states have seen fierce fighting since unrest erupted in South Sudan in December.

Opposition forces captured Bentiu early on in the conflict, only for the town to be rectaken by the government in December before rebels seized it again in January.
An ostrich runs through empty streets and past destroyed buildings, after government forces on Friday retook from rebel forces the provincial capital of Bentiu, in Unity State, South Sudan, Jan. 12, 2014.An ostrich runs through empty streets and past destroyed buildings, after government forces on Friday retook from rebel forces the provincial capital of Bentiu, in Unity State, South Sudan, Jan. 12, 2014.
x
An ostrich runs through empty streets and past destroyed buildings, after government forces on Friday retook from rebel forces the provincial capital of Bentiu, in Unity State, South Sudan, Jan. 12, 2014.
An ostrich runs through empty streets and past destroyed buildings, after government forces on Friday retook from rebel forces the provincial capital of Bentiu, in Unity State, South Sudan, Jan. 12, 2014.


The United Nations Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović, said in January after visiting Bentiu that the town "simply did not even exist any more" after weeks of fighting.
 
Gatdet said some of the thousands of residents of Bentiu who had sought refuge at the U.N. base in Bentiu were celebrating the town's takeover by opposition forces, and some of them felt safe enough to leave the U.N. facility.

“The civilians in the U.N. compound have come out dancing, singing, ululating and welcoming the rebels inside the town,” he said.

U.N. officials could not confirm that civilians were leaving the camp.
 
The United Nations, United States and other members of the international community have criticized both sides for failing to observe a cessation of hostilities agreement reached in late January.

In an interview published Monday by South Sudan in Focus, U.S. Special Envoy to South Sudan and Sudan, Donald Booth, said Washington's threat to slap sanctions on anyone violating human rights or obstructing the peace process in South Sudan is not just a hollow warning but will be put into action unless the warring sides stop fighting and respect the January peace deal.

"As I have continually warned, for those who continue to obstruct the peace process, we will take action," Booth said.

Peace talks between the two warring sides are on a three-week recess and are due to resume next week.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kim from: Juba
April 20, 2014 5:56 AM
That is an idiotic idea from you homeboy. Kiir must step down S.sudan will be Rule by the criminal He kills large number of people in South Sudan
In Response

by: lual maluese from: kampala
April 23, 2014 5:13 AM
@kim, i know you are the enemy of peace and the food lover, when ever nuer is relieve he rebel, what do u thinks about this?

by: Deng Alor from: kampala
April 16, 2014 5:28 PM
President Slave Kiir,will not step down bcoz he is elected &i personly i elected him,we are deomcratic nation rebel or USA will not remove kiir from the seat of presidency. H.E president kiir will not step down, kiir oyeee.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More