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Tuesday, Jan 27th, 2015

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US Removes South Sudan from its ‘Trade Benefits Program’

Washington, DC, December 23, 2014 (SSNA) -- The government of the United States has on Tuesday issued a presidential proclamation, removing the Republic of South Sudan from its trade benefits program, Reuters News Agency reported.

The presidential proclamation did not mention any reason as to why the US chooses to drop South Sudan from its duty-free trade program.

The move, which is set to take effect on January 1, 2015, comes more than a year after fighting erupted in Juba in Mid-December last year.

It is unclear what triggers the latest move by the main backer of the young nation.

However, the US has in the past issued threats of economic sanctions against individuals who stand in the way of the ongoing peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The United States also said it will support looming sanctions against South Sudan currently under development by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Earlier this month, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Samantha Power, met face-to-face with South Sudanese Foreign Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin and told him that Washington is ready to support UN mandated sanctions against Juba.

Intelligence Leaks: Uganda, South Sudan to Attack Rebel Positions in Jonglei 'Soon'

Juba/Kampala, December 22, 2014 (SSNA) -- Combined forces of The Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) and Sudan People’s Liberation Army-Juba have left Bor town heading toward Lou Nuer and Ayod areas ready to launch simultaneous attacks on rebel positions in Jonglei State, a confidential UPDF-SPLA military document leaked to the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) has revealed.

The deployments which officially began late last week (South Sudan local time) are destined for Fangak, Uror, and Waat.

“The presence of rebels in Uror, Fangak, and Ayod is not good for our security. We will soon attack and destroy them,” the document reads in part.

“On December 20, the SPLA and Ugandan forces left Bor town for Ayod and Lou Nuer areas. They are now well positioned to launch simultaneous attacks on rebels positions at anytime," it added.

The source also disclosed that South Sudan’s soldiers were briefed last Thursday by their superiors and told not to disappoint the government.

The source who leaked the document was also contacted by the SSNA to corroborate the claims; the source went in details, describing the looming attacks as “serious”, adding that the young country must prepare itself for a catastrophic failure.

On November 5, the South Sudan News Agency obtained a carefully designed wide-raging Ugandan military war plan against South Sudan’s rebels. In the document, the UPDF asked the rebels to either surrender or be wiped out.

The military intervention of Uganda anger opposition forces; with Uganda refusing to withdraw its troops from South Sudan and claiming that Juba has requested Kampala’s involvement.

Rebels Recapture Phom El Zaref, Threatening to Release Videos of Battles

Addis Ababa, December 11, 2014 (SSNA) -- South Sudanese rebels have on Thursday recaptured the Administrative Headquarters of Fangak County, Phom El Zaref, in Jonglei State, according to Brig. General Lul Ruai Koang.

In a press statement obtained by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA), Gen. Koang stated that their forces took control over Phom El Zaref on the 10th of December, adding that they have inflicted heavy losses on government troops.

“Our Resistance Forces under direct command of Brig. Gen. Chuol Nhial Kok and under overall command of Maj. Gen. Gabriel Tangiye on 10-12-2014 regained control of Phom El Zaref, the Administrative HQs of Fangak County in northern Jonglei State,” Koang said in the statement.

In addition, the SPLA-IO Spokesman vowed to release videos of Fangak battles.

“The videos will be released to boost the morale of our Forces and supporters in the country and around the world,” he added.

The rebels’ military Spokesman also stated that government forces are on the run on different directions and that the rebel forces are pursuing them.

“[Government] Foot soldiers fled in two directions with our forces in hot pursuit; one group towards Nyijuat in neighboring Panyikang County in Upper Nile State and Dor in the same county,” Gen. Koang asserted.

Koang further disclosed that the anti-government forces have killed 78 government soldiers, captured 6 PKM light machine guns, 60 AKM-47, 8 RPG-7, and destroyed 1 APC and 3 Toyota Land cruisers mounted with heavy machine guns.

The Spokesman for the SPLA-in Opposition further revealed that their positions in Renk county were systematically attacked by the SPLA-Juba forces.

“In a separate development, clashes erupted on 10-12-2014 in Gongbar north of Renk County. Salva's forces moved out of their defensive positions at Wei-Yar Adiu northwest of Nasir and attacked our forces at Dhurding, Koat-Chie Gew and Ketbek. All the attackers were repulsed,” Koang disclosed.

On November 28, government troops launched successful attacks on rebels’ positions and took control over Fangak's administrative Headquarters, Phom El Zaref.

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