Key South Sudan town recaptured

JUBA -- The strategic South Sudanese town of Bor has been recaptured from rebel forces, an army spokesman has said.

JUBA -- The strategic South Sudanese town of Bor has been recaptured from rebel forces, an army spokesman has said.

Government forces had defeated more than 15,000 rebel troops in Bor, army spokesman Philip Aguer said. There has been no comment from the rebels.

Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, has changed hands several times in a month-long conflict that is believed to have left thousands dead.

Talks to try to find a ceasefire are continuing in Ethiopia.

The conflict between rebel and government forces broke out on 15 December. President Salva Kiir has accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup — an accusation he denies.

The dispute has seen killings along ethnic lines — Mr Kiir is a member of the Dinka community, the country’s largest, while Machar is from the Nuer ethnic group.

On Thursday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni confirmed his country’s troops were now fighting alongside South Sudanese government forces against the rebels. A Ugandan army spokesman said its troops had helped retake Bor.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by the fighting.

‘Malakal attack’

Col. Aguer said the fight for Bor had left “many dead”, without giving figures.

He said the victory had eliminated the psychological pressure of a rebel attack on the capital, Juba, 200km south of Bor.

Aguer also said the focus would now fall on the town of Malakal, still partly controlled by the rebels, with the government forces planning an imminent attack. 

Talks to try to agree a ceasefire are continuing in a hotel in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

There have been conflicting reports about progress in the discussions, but no breakthrough has yet been signalled.

Our correspondent says it is widely believed that the talks have stalled because both sides are aiming for an upper hand in the fighting before real negotiations begin.

Agencies

 

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