South Sudan Army Claims to Have Retaken Bor From Rebels

Rumbek — South Sudan's army recaptured Bor, the capital of Jonglei state on Tuesday which was seized by forces loyal to Maj-Gen Peter Gadet last week, the military's spokesperson said on Tuesday.

SPLA General Peter Gadet Yaak addresses the press in Jonglei capital Bor on 2 April 2013 (ST)

Philip Aguer described the South Sudanese army's (SPLA) mission to Jonglei as a "rescue assault" in order to free the thousands of people who have been forced to flee the area or seek hostage inside the UN base there.

Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, has been occupied by forces loyal to Gadet since Wednesday. Gadet was a commander in charge of the SPLA's 8th Division in Jonglei state, which was is tasked with fighting a rebellion in the Jonglei's Pibor county.

It is reportedly that Gadet broke away from the national army because of allegations that his tribe, the Nuer, were targetted in during fighting in Juba at the beginning of last week.

The government claimed that former Vice President Riek Machar, tried to stage a coup to oust President Kiir, in collaboration with 12 other senior figures from the ruling SPLM who have become critical of Kiir's "dictatorial" tendencies.

Most of those politicians, who are from a range of ethnic groups, are being detained in Juba, where the security situation has stabilised.

The commander of the fourth division in Unity state, James Koang, defected on Friday after claiming the army had ordered for him to be killed. On Saturday he announced he was the new governor of the state, but Aguer said that the SPLA was "confident we will retake Unity state within hours."

There have also been reports of fighting in Upper Nile state, which like Unity hosts South Sudan's oil fields.

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