Addis Ababa, October 29, 2014 (SSNA) -- South Sudanese rebels have on Wednesday afternoon (South Sudan local time) seized the capital of the oil-rich unity state, Bentiu, from the government troops.
The fighting occurred more than ten months after war broke out in Juba.
Bentiu had changed hands numerous times since the war erupted in late December last year.
Rebels military Spokesman, Brig. General Lul Ruai Koang, confirmed the seizure of Bentiu saying opposition forces have liberated Bentiu after government soldiers attacked their positions for two days.
“Our Gallant Resistance Fighters under overall command of Gen.Peter Gatdet Yak this afternoon liberated Bentiu town from Kiir's genocidal forces. In the last two day; the enemy has been attacking us 5km north and 7km south of Bentiu forcing our forces to return a barrage of fires in self-defense leading to the fall of the town”, Gen. Koang said.
“Our forces are consolidating their gains and pursuing these tribal militias towards Mayom and Pareng”, he added.
Koang also stated that Juba is funding the war from Upper Nile oil, and warned that anti-government forces are capable of launching a crippling blow against oil facilities if deems necessary.
Meanwhile, SPLA Spokesperson, Philip Aguer, called the fall of Bentiu a “lie”. Aguer further asserted that government forces took full control of the town after four hours of fierce battle.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed and at least 1.5 million have fled the country as the fighting raged.
Peace negotiations are continuing in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, with little success.