Home | News    Tuesday 15 November 2016

S. Sudan rebels withdraw from Unity state town after capture


November 14, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s armed opposition faction under the leadership of the former vice president, Riek Machar withdrew from a key town in oil-rich Unity state after capturing it, casting doubt on possibilities of resuming oil production in the area.

South Sudanese rebel troops loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar stand on guard in Unity state capital Bentiu on 12 January 2014 after recapturing the strategic town from government troops (Photo: Reuters)

The retreat from Nhialdiu town ended over two days of squabbles between members of the armed opposition movement, some of who support Machar and those currently backing his successor, Taban Deng Gai.

The withdrawal of rebels could signal a new phase in the intra-rebel fighting that pitted more moderate factions against conservatives across Upper Nile region in past months, undermining the wider battle against forces loyal to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.

A senior member of the armed opposition told Sudan Tribune the controversially appointed first vice president uses money to lure some commanders into joining his faction.

“All the fronts in Upper Nile region are falling apart due to this fighting, and the regime is taking advantage of it. This is what Salva Kiir and his lieutenants are trying to accomplish. They are using divide and rule tactics. Now Taban using is trying very hard so that he pleases Salva Kiir but I don’t think they will succeed because there is no way the cause can easily be forgotten”, he remarked.

The official also denied reports that the opposition forces kidnapped humanitarian workers in Nhialdiu, claiming they voluntarily to ran to the rebel controlled areas in search of security and protection.

“It is not our policy to kidnap humanitarian workers and civilians. When happened and this is what I want to clarify to the general public and the international community is that some civilians, including some of the humanitarian workers fled to areas under our control when fighting was taking place. This is because they feel more safe and protected by our forces. They were not kidnapped”, he stressed.

The armed opposition official was reacting to reports in which the state government claimed rebels kidnapped up to 20 humanitarian workers after managing to briefly overrun Nhialdiu town.

“Please this is to inform you that, a big number of humanitarian workers numbering to 20 had been abducted by the Riek Machar supporters yesterday after they briefly and surprisingly captured the town of Nhaildiu and took those people with them however the government of northern recaptured the town after few hours later”, Northern Liech State Information Minister, Lam Tungwar said in a statement.

He said resumption of hostile activities in the area would gravely undermine efforts by humanitarian aid agencies to assist civilians.

“This is very bad for the humanitarian and the general population of northern Liech state particularly Nhaildiu, such characters are what we had earlier warned and inform our partners about such groups who have been incited by Riek Machar”, explained the minister.

The state government strongly condemned the incident, saying measures would be taken to ensure the abducted workers were safely brought back.


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  • 14 November 2016 20:58, by nobets wanis

    Southern sudanese withdraw from unity state a message I got from a nubian christian king silko 13 century to southerners "message to southerners keep your country seperate from north but maintain as christian country respect the north but keep south seperate as independant christian state try to emulate the spirit of christian nubia in a independant free christian country seperate

  • 15 November 2016 06:23, by Akuma

    Idiot, Riek Machar militias were dislodge after attempting to enter to the state not withdrawal for your information. Militias are very far away in border of Sudan.

    • 15 November 2016 06:33, by Midit Mitot

      One day tactical withdraw is not a defeat, advice your fake information Minister Lam Tunguar not to lure the public with lie.

      • 15 November 2016 06:44, by Tharjiath

        Kiir and Taban they are disastrous Peace implementation,they thought that the war will help them But you will regret later since the fearless Generals are still in Bush.

  • 15 November 2016 06:37, by Naath


    You are the most idiot and double blind supporter of tribal chief kiir. Do you know where Nhialdiew is located in Unity State? Nhialdiew is in the Center of Unity State. Bentiu is in the North East of Nhialdiew, Mayom in the west, Guit in the East. In fact, Nhialdiew is South of Bentiu Town. The Dinka’s soldiers and their stooges are in Bentiu town only.

    • 15 November 2016 08:10, by Joyuma John

      Naath, the war that you people are fighting, does not inflicting and pain to kiir nor Dinka, I think it is Nuer ruining their own present in plan to ruin more in future, mark me right and you will appreciate my words, Nhialdiu is a Nuer land right, capturing it, or not would not add any much to Nuer as they expecting, but shall build point of regret in the nearest future.

    • 15 November 2016 10:10, by Dijango

      So touched somehow and i would want you to replace the name Dinka with governing regime when attempted to discourse about activities of both warring parties in bad faith, this is in order to cease contradicting yourself unknowingly especially if your movement has eminent objectives and goal set-forth for all or halt commenting things that overwhelm your mindset. Mind u, they left for reintegration

  • 15 November 2016 07:05, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    That is not true the rebels soldiers didn’t captured the town.

    • 15 November 2016 07:59, by Morthon Akol

      you said that those humanitarian workers fled to areas under rebels control because they feel safe and protected.that mean they are not secure in the hand of government forces? you guys should accept the reality you capture them.

  • 15 November 2016 07:47, by Dengda

    The town was captured and if it wasn’t how come government claimed of kidnapped humanitarian worker? Were these workers weren’t in nhialdew? No you are talk of Dr Riek rebel. was there no peace deal or agreement signed with Riek? And what happened to that deal? Solution was reached and implementation was on track. @ Akuma and Ayuiu if you scare Riek to that level, we citizens have solution electio

    • 15 November 2016 07:53, by Dengda

      election and 2018 was best solution reached so far for civil population to determines who would be their next leader. Forcing thing on one direction, hhnm I guess we should prepare for more turbulences to come. At the end Aweil and Warrap are going to be big losers of all. They deprived young people who supposed to at school to come and fight for Kiir and Malong. The future not bright for you.

      • 15 November 2016 07:57, by Dengda

        Few decades a head, there will be no rule of guns and bullet but will be rule of democracy and ballots. Education will determines and be norms and order of the day. Mathianganyoor, Tiger, White army and many more are all lost generation of GB and UpperNile. Good luck, go on protect your throne.

  • 15 November 2016 08:32, by real Dinka

    They would have the mighty SPLA gallants forces to smell the good or badness of attacking government every now and then

    Dear Naath community Your tribal rebellion will drive you no where.

    Think big

    • 15 November 2016 11:26, by Wehoop

      They were looters and did not voluntarily withdraw but forcefully defeated by Gallant SPLA forces under the command of Maj. General Yoal Bath, the Fourth Division Commander base in Greater Unity.

    • 15 November 2016 16:29, by jubaone

      Real Dinka
      It’s not the fighting power of jieng-SPLA, but rather the unfortunate fratricide among the Nuer, brother killing brother. If only the Nuer stood as one single block, the jienges now would be history. Nuer MUST organize and get as Naath people and no more backstabbing, then jienges would be running widely around like scared chicken.

  • 15 November 2016 08:35, by real Dinka

    Your fool and godly father and a doom leader has come to an end because his days are numbered

  • 15 November 2016 10:17, by deng kual acot

    Dear all, it is a shame to the rebles. clear defit. why don’t they give up and surrender themselve under the leadership of of his Extingt Salfa Kiir and the executing agencies. What can monkeys do to own a Mango tree not in the forest?

    • 15 November 2016 11:43, by S. Sudan Nationalist

      In our drive to fight each other to extinction, we do not care about the loss of blood of South Sudanese on both sides. We only care about our side prevailing. Shame on South Sudanese! Remember whether you support Salva or Riek you will not get much. Let everyone be a person of himself or herself and contribute as an individual to the way forward for South Sudan. This way we shall have peace.

      • 15 November 2016 12:47, by Lango2010

        South Sudanes Nationalist
        you are right and appreciate your comment. if all our people can see the truth like you did, there will be true peace in this country, but if we give side and support blindly best on our tribes then we are ruin.

        • 16 November 2016 06:29, by S. Sudan Nationalist

          Thanks Lango 2010. It is time we become impartial to focus on the country’s issues rather than on stereotypes.

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