World Bulletin / News Desk
The South Sudanese army announced Monday that at least 195 people were killed in recent rebel attacks in Renk County of the Upper Nile State.
"The rebels killed 16 civilians, including a paramount chief with his four children, and this was an atrocity made by them against innocent civilians in the area," Col Philip Aguer, a spokesman for the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), told a news conference at the army headquarters in Juba.
"Our gallant forces pursued the attackers on all fronts, whereby 168 rebel bodies were recovered," he said.
He added that the troops captured four rebel soldiers, 58 AKM guns, 26 machine guns and a Sudanese flag.
"The forces of Riek Machar came from neighboring Sudan with the intention of hoping to captured Renk County and annex it to Sudan," Aguer claimed. "They wanted to capture the oil fields and annex them to Sudan territory."
Neither the Sudanese government nor the rebels were immediately available to comment on the claim.
The Upper Nile State is responsible for about 80 percent of South Sudan's oil production.
Aguer admitted that SPLA lost 5 troops in the fighting in Renk and 6 in the southern part of Malakal, the state's capital.
"All in all a total of eleven deaths and 75 wounded on the side of the government forces," he added.
Aguer said the SPLA is now in control of Renk and other areas attacked by the rebels.
"We heard that 300 rebel forces escaped to the border areas of Joda and Jebelen, but government forces in Unity State are now on maximum alert because we got information that they are still amassing their forces to attack again," he added.
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when President Salva Kiir accused Machar of plotting to overthrow his regime.
Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have since been displaced in fighting between the two rivals, leading to an increasingly dire humanitarian situation for large swathes of the country's population.
In recent months, the warring camps have held on-again, off-again peace talks in Addis Ababa under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a Djibouti-based regional bloc.Last Mod: 23 Eylül 2014, 10:05