April 15, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — After hours of heavy fighting within the Unity state capital, Bentiu, the self-imposed military governor, Maj. Gen. James Koang Chuol Ramley has just announced his victory on Bentiu Radio, this afternoon. The SPLA division headquarters at Baar, near Bentiu, were reportedly overrun on Monday evening.
Sources confirmed that Bentiu, the capital, came under heavy attack on Tuesday Morning, around 6am.
Before pursuing the government troops into the capital, Maj. Gen James Koang Chol, offered his opponent Gen. Mathew Puljang, the commander of SSLA rebels backing the government, a limited ultimatum to be accepted or declined within five hours, on Monday.
“We have spoken to Gen.Puljang on the phone and told him to surrender and join us or we will catch him alive and deal with him. So far he’s not heeding to our calls but we have given him up to 5 hours to make up his mind”, Koang warned.
Maj. Gen. Koang, now backed by the notorious Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet Yaka, the overall commander of the anti-government operations in Jonglei state, has earlier called on Gen. Puljang to “surrender or risked being caught alive.” Reports are yet to confirm the fates of Gen. Mathew Puljang.
SPLM in opposition report:
Earlier report from Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, confirmed the fighting with uncertainty of who controls the town.
“The leadership on the ground has confirmed that heavy fighting resumed this morning inside Bentiu town. Our gallant forces managed to push back and pursued the attacking government troops and their foreign allies into the heart of the city,” James Gatdet Dak told Sudan Tribune by phone.
However, Gatdet believed that “it is more likely the state capital will fall into the hands of the rebels during the day,”
Reports of heavy fighting, although denied by the Juba government, were reported by the residents and aid workers fleeing Bentiu town and also by those residing within the UNMISS camp.
Contrary to the rebels’ circulation, Col. Philip Aguer, the government spokesperson believes that the rebels were repulsed from Tor-Abeith, in the Northern part of the state. According to his report, there should be no fighting in the Bentiu and its surrounding.
“It is not true. The SPLA forces yesterday (Monday) repulsed the attack of Riek Machar rebels, who came from Sudan. Our forces are now in control,” Aguer said.
Maj. Gen. Gatdet offers compensations:
Maj. Gen. Gatdet Yaka reportedly promised a ransom to citizens with tangible information regarding the hideouts of the state governor, Hon. Nguen Monytuel and other government officials in the state.
Sources, however, believe that governor Nguen Monytuel has headed in the direction of Guit, while the other government officials are heading towards Nhialdiu. Other reports question the fates of the deputy governor, hon. Mabiak Lang.
The Maj. Generals have reportedly issued additional ultimatums to soldiers, especially the commanding generals to surrender or risked being killed.
Peter Riek Gew, the rebel spokesperson confirms that a clearance tracking of the fleeing government soldiers is still in operation within Bentiu city and its outskirts.
In other report, UNMISS reiterated that 10 employees of Safinat Caspian oil refining company were wounded in the oil fields on Monday when the fighting broke out between the government and the rebels. This comes after the government announced its readiness to restart oil production in July.
Bentiu oil fields were shut down in December, after a fight broke out among the South Sudanese oil-field workers, loyal to Dr. Riek Machar and president Salva Kiir. Score were injured and some were killed.
Dr. Riek Machar, who controls about 70% of the national army, has warned of shutting down the oil fields in the country to reduce regional involvement in the conflict. Machar also believes that he would match his forces to Juba should the peace process fail in Addis Ababa.
“ Dry season is always bad for the insurgents but we captured Bor twice, we captured Malakal twice and Bentiu once. These are states capitals.” Machar said
“If we have the capability of doing that, then what would prevent us from going to Juba, even with the present of Museveni guys in South Sudan.” referring to UPDF.
“We will go to Juba if peace talk do not materialize”Machar concludes.
Reaction in Bentiu:
Reaction in Juba: