Breaking: Rebel stronghold falls to government troops File photo: Rebel fighters hold up their rifles as they walk in front of a bushfire in a rebel-controlled territory in Upper Nile State in 2014. (REUTERS)
South Sudanese government troops have entered the area of Pagak as rebels allied to former first vice president Riek Machar abandoned what was the last significant town they were holding. The capture of Pagak comes after the Troika and the European Union condemned the government of South Sudan’s current offensive against opposition forces around Pagak recently. Pagak, located on South Sudan’s border with neighbouring Ethiopia, was one of the last remaining strongholds of the opposition.Paul Lam Gabriel, rebel deputy spokesman said: “Sincerely, we were attacked by the government forces yesterday in Pagak, so we clashed but we decided to withdraw from Pagak. Now the government is controlling Pagak." The rebel spokesman confirmed the pull-out on Sunday night. He cited the violent bombardment by government forces as the reason behind the SPLA-IO withdrawal. “The artillery and bombardments were very heavy, and there were civilians,” said Lam. He pointed out that thousands of civilians crossed Ethiopia after the government attack. Lam claimed that they will fight back to retake Pagak at any time. South Sudan’s presidency confirmed that the government forces had captured Pagak area. “Our forces have been repulsing frequent attacks by Riek Machar’s forces, so it was necessary for us to enter Pagak in self-defense,” President Kiir’s spokesman Ateny Wek said. The government-allied opposition faction claimed that the SPLA-IO forces withdrew from Pagak without any fighting.Dickson Gatluak Jok, the spokesperson of the SPLA-IO faction led by the First Vice-President Taban Deng Gai, accused the opposition faction allied to Riek Machar of setting fire on ammunition stories before withdrawing its troops from the area yesterday. -- To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org To unsubscribe from this group, send email to southsudankob+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com Visit this group at https://groups.google.com/d/forum/southsudankob View this message at https://groups.google.com/d/msg/southsudankob/topic-id/message-id For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout --- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "South Sudan Info - The Kob" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to southsudankob+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to SouthSudanKob@googlegroups.com. Visit this group at https://groups.google.com/group/SouthSudanKob. To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/SouthSudanKob/CAJb14orpD3_VnA_6eJU8_-R6ZzkiWxsrrhNjvMSLsVnK79VWng%40mail.gmail.com. For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.