South Sudan army retakes Malakal town

Khartoum, Jan 21: South Sudanese army Monday said it had recaptured Malakal, the capital region of oil-rich Upper Nile state, from the rebels after violent clashes.

“The forces of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) have controlled Malakal town and driven the rebels (loyal to former vice-president Rriek Machar) out of it,” Xinhua quoted Philip Agier, an army spokesman, as saying over phone.

“Our forces are still pursuing the rebels outside of the town to clear it from them,” Agier said, adding that Malakal was now free from the rebels.

Last Friday, the South Sudanese army declared that it had lost contact with its troops in Malakal.

Since mid December, South Sudan has been witnessing violent clashes between government troops and forces loyal to Riek Machar, who is accused of plotting to topple the government.

The clashes have left some 1,000 people dead and over 400,000 civilians displaced.