News / Africa

    South Sudan Rebels Claim Recapture of Malakal

    • A South Sudan army soldier stands next to a machine gun mounted on a truck in Malakal town, 497km (298 miles) northeast of capital Juba, December 30, 2013 a few days after retaking the town from rebel fighters. Rebel forces said Tuesday, Jan. 14, that they had retaken Malakal after days of clashes with government troops.
    • The city of Malakal rests on the bank of the White Nile River, South Sudan.
    • A pirogue packed with passengers arrives at a dock after crossing a waterway near the town of Malakal, seen from an airplane over South Sudan, Dec. 30, 2013. Around 200 people drowned Sunday when a boat carrying them away from the fighting in Malakal sank on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014.
    • The battle for Malakal came as representatives for both sides in the South Sudan conflict hold peace talks in Addis Ababa. Members of South Sudan rebel delegation are shown at the opening ceremony of the talks on Jan. 4, 2014.
    • South Sudanese soldiers listen during a briefing at the army general headquarters in Juba, Jan. 8, 2014.
    • Displaced people walk past razor wire at Tomping camp, near Juba, South Sudan, Jan. 7, 2014.
    • A soldier with the Sudan People's Liberation Army - the army of the Republic of South Sudan - is pictured behind a South Sudan flag as he sits on the back of a pick-up truck in Bentiu, Unity state, Jan. 12, 2014.Bentiu was recaptured by government forces on Jan. 10.
    • An ostrich runs through empty streets and past destroyed buildings in Bentiu, Unity state, after government forces on Jan. 10, 2014 retook the town from rebel forces.
    • South Sudanese army soldiers are seen guarding Malakal town, 497km (308 miles) northeast of capital Juba, Dec. 30, 2013 after retaking the town from rebel fighters.
    South Sudan Rebels Claim Malakal Recaptured
    Lucy Poni
    Rebel forces loyal to former South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar recaptured the town of Malakal Tuesday, a spokesman for Machar announced to delegates at talks aimed at ending the violence in the world's newest nation.

    “I have just received confirmation from our field commander that the SPLM/SPLA forces under the direct command of Major-General Gathoth Gathkuoth have recaptured the strategic town of Malakal, the capital of oil-rich Upper Nile state," Brigadier-General Lul Ruai Koang, Machar's military spokesman, said.

    "Our forces are still pursuing Salva Kiir’s forces,” Ruai said in Addis Ababa, where the two sides in the month-old conflict are holding peace talks.

    Fighting has been raging in and around Malakal since Sunday. Ruai said government troops were likely among some 200 people who drowned when a crowded boat sank as it carried people fleeing the fighting across the White Nile River.

    “Government forces were chased, some towards Akoka. Our forces are still pursuing them. Some of them crossed the river. So the people who are said to have drowned in the river, I am sure some of them are government forces,” he said.

    Ruai said the general in charge of government troops in Malakal, Johnson Gony Beliu, abandoned his soldiers and fled to Juba with Upper Nile state Governor Simon Kun Pouch.

    It was impossible to confirm Ruai's claims with independent sources or with the army.


    Rebels vow to keep oil flowing


    The capital of Upper Nile state, which produces the bulk of South Sudan's oil, has already changed hands twice since South Sudan was engulfed in unrest last month when an attack by renegade soldiers on an army headquarters in Juba  quickly spread around the country.

    Heavy fighting was reported in Malakal on Tuesday morning as the rebel forces launched a final assault on government positions.

    Ruai said that recapturing Malakal has given the rebels control of South Sudan’s oil,  which could give them a better bargaining tool at the peace talks in Addis Ababa.

    But that was not the reason they launched their offensive on the strategic town, he said.

    “We are not doing this so as to strengthen our position at the negotiations.  We are doing this because we have been attacked several times,” he said.

    Ruai said the rebel forces will ensure that oil production continues in Upper Nile, which produces around 85 percent of South Sudan's oil, the backbone of the young country's economy.

    Before a disagreement with Khartoum led to a production shutdown in January 2012, South Sudan produced half a million barrels of crude a day, accounting for 98 percent of government revenues and about 80 percent of gross domestic product, according to the Revenue Watch Institute.

    Reports that Malakal was again in the hands of rebel forces came days after government troops snatched control of  Bentiu, the capital of oil-producing Unity state, from Machar loyalists.

    A women displaced by fighting in Bor county washes herself as another washes kettles in the village of Mingkamen on Jan. 14, 2014.A women displaced by fighting in Bor county washes herself as another washes kettles in the village of Mingkamen on Jan. 14, 2014.
    x
    A women displaced by fighting in Bor county washes herself as another washes kettles in the village of Mingkamen on Jan. 14, 2014.
    A women displaced by fighting in Bor county washes herself as another washes kettles in the village of Mingkamen on Jan. 14, 2014.
    The two sides are also fighting for control of Bor,  the capital of Jonglei state, which government forces vowed last week to recapture from rebels, who took control of the town early on in the conflict.

    The United Nations says well in excess of a thousand people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced in four weeks of violence in South Sudan.

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Ajok balach from: USA
    January 17, 2014 12:46 PM
    Riek has damages his chance to become a south Sudan president what sisi !

    by: YOUNG from: KENYA
    January 16, 2014 2:12 PM
    Riek, we are behind you. Fight for your people & democracy

    by: OK from: Kenya
    January 16, 2014 6:48 AM
    we need Riek

    by: Pidor ttet Duop from: USA
    January 15, 2014 12:55 PM
    My comment is we do not want dinka to be leader again.

    by: Dr young from: Malakal
    January 14, 2014 3:34 PM
    People of south Sudan keep your force such you defeat them.we are young generation of south Sudan n i believe in kiir but i hate riek machar
    In Response

    by: Keak Tegn from: Ethiopia
    January 16, 2014 1:06 AM
    Greetings my fr, and let me tell you one thing which you will never forget,ok.
    Dr. Riek the man whom you hated, is as gentle as a lamb! That's why everybody likes Him.
    Dr. Machar is Democrat not as Dictator as Mr.Mayardit you live on.
    The only one thing which let you to support Mayardit is to be moneys looter like Him.
    Kiir's family and tribe is all about corruption:
    1. His wife Mary Ayen had stolen monies from Juba in 2012.
    2. His tribe Dinka(Jaang) watched after him if intoxicated he would write letter for his tribe to looted monies in a bank.
    3. Currently, Mayardit Massacred Naath Nuer tribes in Juba, south sudan claimed that it was a coup.
    If this is a coup, why Dr.Riek doesn't kill Dinka civilians and not burned down the captured states?
    It is because they are Democracy fighters claimed to alter Dictator president-ship.
    I have more to say, but these are enough.
    Dean Keak

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.