South Sudan rebels retake strategic town along Ethiopia border
South Sudan’s rebels say they have retaken control of their stronghold town of Pagak near the border with Ethiopia from government forces, APA reports quoting Press TV.
"We took control of Pagak ... government forces are not in Pagak, we have pushed them out," Reuters quoted rebel spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel as saying on Saturday.
Pagak was captured by South Sudan's military on Monday, but rebels engaged in heavy clashes with government forces on Friday in an attempt to retake the town.
The rebels’ control of Pagak, located in the Upper Nile region, provides them with an easy route for cross-border movement and smuggling of arms and other supplies from Ethiopia.
Dickson Gatluak Jock, a spokesman for South Sudan's Vice President Taban Deng Gai, rejected that the rebels had retaken the control of the town but said three army soldiers were killed and four others wounded during the clashes.
"We clashed with them (rebels) yesterday in Pagak, but we are in full control of the area," he said.
Jock noted that fighting had died down on Saturday, but said the rebels "are not very far from our area."
He said the army killed five rebels during the Friday clashes. The rebels denied it.
The South Sudanese vice president used to be a rebel himself, but he was appointed to his current position after he defected to the government in 2016.
Gai’s former rebel forces are now part of the government military and they are fighting on the front line against forces loyal to opposition leader Riek Machar in Pagak.
Pagak has been a key element in Machar’s insurgency since he defected as the main deputy to President Salva Kiir in December 2013 over allegations of plotting a coup.
Weeks of clashes have forced thousands to flee the Upper Nile region. Tens of thousands have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict. Machar was forced into exile in South Africa but forces loyal to him still operate in Pagak and other regions of the world’s youngest country.
The war spread across South Sudan with the collapse of a peace agreement in 2015, leaving many in poverty and despair.
The United Nations says nearly six million people, around half of South Sudan’s population, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
- 23.01.2018Egyptian army arrests former chief of staff over presidential bid
- 23.01.2018Morocco's king appoints five new ministers
- 23.01.2018Former football player sworn in as Liberia's president
- 19.01.2018Libyan forces launch operation against militants
- 19.01.2018Zimbabwe opposition leader Roy Bennett killed in U.S. helicopter crash
- 18.01.2018Egypt appoints new intelligence chief
- 17.01.2018Kidnappers abduct American, Canadian in Nigeria, two police killed: police official
- 17.01.2018Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers kill 12
- 16.01.2018At least 20 dead as clashes shut airport in Libyan capital
- 15.01.2018Clashes in Tripoli kill 11, closes airport - UPDATED
- 11.01.2018Tunisian police clash with protesters in at least five towns
- 10.01.2018Tunisian police fire tear gas on protesters storming Carrefour market in Tunis
- 09.01.2018Madagascar cyclone kills 29, displaces thousands
- 09.01.2018Tunisian protester killed in clashes with police
- 09.01.2018Nigeria fighter jet crashes in anti-Boko Haram mission
- 07.01.2018Gunmen kill 13 in Senegal's Casamance region
- 06.01.2018Sudan closes border with Eritrea
- 06.01.2018Clashes break out near South Sudan capital in truce violation
- 05.01.20182 killed in armed confrontation on Libya-Tunisia border
- 04.01.2018George Weah certified as Liberia’s new president
- 04.01.2018Egypt detains 75 people in human trafficking probe
- 04.01.2018Roadside bomb kills police officer in Egypt's Sinai
- 03.01.2018Egypt extends state of emergency for another 3 months
- 03.01.2018Over 20 killed as herdsmen attack Nigerian communities
- 02.01.2018Egypt to resume flights to Moscow next month
- 31.12.2017Liberia's president elect vows to end corruption
- 29.12.2017Gunman kills seven outside Coptic church in Cairo suburb: ministry
- 29.12.2017Egyptian soldiers killed in rocket attack
- 29.12.2017George Weah elected Liberian president
- 28.12.2017Over 30 killed in renewed South Sudan clashes amid continued truce violation
- 27.12.2017Jabhat al-Nusra militants in Syria to be wiped out next year — Russian General Staff
- 26.12.2017Ugandan military says over 100 rebels killed in DRC
- 21.12.2017Egyptian President calls army, Interior Ministry to tackle terrorism in N Sinai
- 20.12.2017Cameroonian troops entered Nigeria without seeking authorization, sources in Nigeria say
- 19.12.2017Nigerian parliament probes hijab case
- 18.12.2017Ethiopia: More than 60 ethnic Somali civilians massacred
- 17.12.2017Fire guts Nigeria's biggest arts, craft village
- 13.12.2017Blast kills four people in northeastern Nigeria, MSF says
- 10.12.201719 die as police vehicle meets accident in Kenya
- 10.12.2017Cholera kills 8 in southern Tanzania
- 14.08.2017More than 200 killed in Sierra Leone as mudslide sweeps away homes
- 15.08.2017At least 200 still missing in Sierra Leone mudslide
- 15.08.20175 policemen killed in northeastern Kenya
- 12.08.2017Eleven dead as post-election unrest erupts in Kenya
- 12.08.2017Death toll from Egypt train crash reaches 49 - UPDATED
- 12.08.2017Kenya: President Kenyatta reelected for 5 more years