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South Sudan rival forces claim victories in multiple places

January 8, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan rival forces have issued separate statements in which both claimed to have captured areas initially controlled by each of the two opposing factions.

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Arms and light weapons have been used by both warring parties in South Sudan to commit abuses (Photo courtesy of SSANSA)

Key government officials and military officers in Upper Nile told Sudan Tribune in a series of interview that their forces repulsed attempted attacks on their positions by the armed opposition fighters allied to rebel leader, Riek Machar in around Nasir town.

Gajiok territories under Latjor state, according to a government official, have taken from armed opposition fighters he described as anti-peace elements. The SPLM-IO forces loyal to FVP, Gen. Taban Deng Gai, he said, captured Nordeng, Dhuoreding, Torpuot, Ketbek, Nyariew and Mandeng on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

These operations, he further explained, were carried out under the command of one Gen. Nasir Ruot Geng for whom he called for congratulations “for the job well done”.

“I want to declare today that the entire Gajiok area is free from Riek Machar," said Gordon Buay, one of South Sudanese diplomats to its mission in Washington.

Meanwhile South Sudanese rebels under the command and leadership of Machar announced that they had captured Morobo county in Yei River state in Equatoria region.

The armed opposition faction (SPLA-IO) military spokesman, William Gatjiath Deng said in a statement issued on Saturday that the SPLA-IO forces managed to capture Morobo county after an attack on their positions by pro-government troops in the area.

"Now, the gallant SPLA-IO forces are in full control of Morobo county,” said Deng.