Skip to comments.South Sudan rebels hold key oil-producing city
Posted on 12/22/2013 8:59:40 PM PST by Eleutheria5
KAMPALA, UGANDA South Sudan's central government lost control of the capital of a key oil-producing state Sunday, the military said, as renegade forces loyal to a former deputy president seized more territory in fighting that has raised fears of full-blown civil war in the world's newest country.
Bentiu, the capital of oil-rich Unity state, is now controlled by a military commander loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, said Col. Philip Aguer, the South Sudanese military spokesman.
"Bentiu is in the hands of a commander who has declared support for Machar," he said. "Bentiu is not in our hands."
The armed rebels were said to be in control days earlier of some of South Sudan's oil fields, which have historically been a target for rebel movements, endangering the country's economic lifeblood.
South Sudan gets nearly 99 percent of its government budget from oil revenues, and the country reportedly earned $1.3 billion in oil sales in just five months this year, according to the London-based watchdog group Global Witness.
Michael Makuei Lueth, South Sudan's information minister, said Machar was believed to be hiding somewhere in Unity state.
"He is a rebel, he's a renegade and we are looking for him. He's moving in the bushes of South Sudan," Lueth said of Machar.
The U.N. Mission in South Sudan said in a statement Sunday that all non-critical staff members in Juba are being evacuated to Uganda. The mission said the move was "a precautionary measure to reduce pressures on its limited resources" as it continues to provide assistance and shelter to more than 20,000 civilians gathered inside its compounds in Juba, the mission said in a statement.
Hilde Johnson, the U.N. secretary-general's envoy in South Sudan, said the evacuation doesn't mean the U.N. is "abandoning" South Sudan.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Related: Obama: Further Action in South Sudan May be Needed http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/283221#.UrfBWNJDu4S
I think Sudan would dearly like to reabsorb the territory, and wouldn’t hesitate to restart the jihad. These guys have got to get it together.
After fighting the Sudanese for decades, they risk losing it all. Of course, from their viewpoint as individuals, they probably think they are playing for the whole pot. I haven’t seen anything in any of the news so far to tell me what led to the break between the two men, if its just personal ambition or something more.
97% Muslim.....surprise, surprise
Knock me over with a feather.
Thats Sudan. The newly indepedent Republic of South Sudan is 60% Christian, 33% animist, and 6% muslim. They fought Sudan for decades for their independence and if they aren't careful Sudan is waiting in the wings for them to fail.
> Hilde Johnson, the U.N. secretary-general’s envoy in South Sudan, said the evacuation doesn’t mean the U.N. is “abandoning” South Sudan.
Yeah, the US abandonment of South Sudan is a red line...
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