South Sudan rebels seize key town of Bor

2013-12-19 11:26

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Juba - South Sudan rebels loyal to fugitive former vice president Riek Machar have seized the key town of Bor, the army said on Thursday, as fighting continued following an alleged failed coup bid.

"Our soldiers have lost control of Bor to the force of Riek Machar late on Wednesday," said army spokesperson Philip Aguer.

"There was shooting last night... we don't have information on casualties or the displaced in the town, as operations are ongoing."

Bor, which lies about 200km north of Juba, is the capital of the eastern state of Jonglei, one of the most volatile regions in the young nation.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has blamed Machar for organising a coup bid, with fighting breaking out late on Sunday in Juba between army units.

But Machar, who was sacked by the president in July and is now on the run, has denied any coup attempt, and in turn accuses Kiir of using it as an excuse to purge his political rivals.

Machar, who fought on both sides during Sudan's 1983-2005 civil war, has been accused of leading a brutal massacre in Bor in 1991.

As fighting spreads outside the capital Juba - now reported to be calm - fears are growing in the international community of a return to civil war in the world's youngest country.

Fighting in the bush

Powerful military commander Peter Gadet - who rebelled in 2011 but then rejoined the army - has also mutinied again, with his troops fighting pro-Kiir soldiers outside Bor.

"They are fighting in the bush," said Aguer.

However, security had been restored in Juba, he said.

"The situation in Juba is now back to normal, the streets are busy and shops are open," added Aguer.

Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands more terrified civilians have fled their homes to seek protection at the UN bases since the fighting broke out on Sunday.

"Casualties in Juba are around 450 dead," said Aguer, adding that around a hundred of those were soldiers and the rest civilians.

Read more on:    riek machar  |  salva kiir  |  south sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.