World Bulletin / News Desk
The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) has reaffirmed its control over Malakal, provincial capital of South Sudan's oil-rich Upper Nile State, but is also anticipating a rebel attack on the town of Bor.
"I can say the SPLA has confidently and fully established control of the town of Malakal; there is relative calm in the whole of Upper Nile," army spokesman Col. Philip Aguer told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
"The last of the fighting was on the 29th [Saturday] in Baliet County, where the rebels were repulsed and 154 died," he added.
Malakal came under rebel control on February 18, triggering a massive exodus by local inhabitants.
"They are trying to approach Malakal from Korpulus," Aguer said.
"They have displaced civilians in the Pigi area, but the army will confront them. Any preparation of [sacked vice president Riek] Machar's forces is being monitored and they will be crushed," the spokesman added.
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when President Salva Kiir accused Machar of attempting to overthrow his regime.
The conflict has already claimed more than 10,000 lives, with the UN estimating that some 3.7 million people in South Sudan are now "severely food insecure" while around one million have been displaced by the violence.
Aguer, meanwhile, said the rebels had started a massive mobilization in Jonglei State with the aim of attacking provincial capital Bor.
"The SPLA is monitoring their movements and mobilization at a place called Tiam Wayut. They intend to recapture Duk Padiet to launch an attack in the Bor area," he noted.
Duk Padiet, according to the army spokesman, lies roughly 200km from Bor.
"They are trying to come back to the area so they can attack Bor, but the SPLA is waiting for them," Aguer said. "The SPLA is preparing a counterattack for their advance."Last Mod: 31 Mart 2014, 17:31