Rebels in South Sudan on Saturday claimed to have controlled oilfields in the country’s northern Unity State, while a government spokesman denied the the takeover. rebel
“We have seized oilfields in Unity State,” said James Gatdet, spokesman for the South Sudanese rebels, led by former vice-president Riek Machar, in a statement.
“In response to the government’s ongoing full-scale offensive against our positions, all the oilfields in South Sudan are our targets,” noted Gatdet.
He said they were planning to seize Adar and Paloch oilfields in Upper Nile state, adding that their goal is to shut them down.
However, a government spokesman denied the rebels’ claim of controlling oilfields in Unity State, but admitted that there were clashes between the government forces and the rebels in the state.
“This is just a false propaganda that the rebels have kept on adopting. They have not seized any oilfield in Unity State”, Michael Makuei, South Sudan information minister, told Xinhua over phone Saturday.
South Sudan gained its independence in 2011, but plunged into violence in December 2013 as fighting erupted between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and defectors headed by his former deputy Riek Machar.
The conflict soon turned into an all-out war, with violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.
The clashes have left thousands of South Sudanese dead and forced around 1.9 million people to flee their homes. Enditem

-Xinhua

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