TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Rebels surge anew in key South Sudan town

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Washington Post
Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, 8:54 p.m.
 

NAIROBI, Kenya — The fierce clashes to control the South Sudanese town of Bor on Tuesday represent a pivotal development in the 2-week-old conflict, giving rebels more clout in peace talks being held this week while potentially undermining President Salva Kiir's grip on the government and his ruling party.

After losing Bor little more than a week ago, loyalists of former vice president Riek Machar, who is leading the rebellion, stormed back in Tuesday morning, attacking government forces and seizing strategic parts of the town. By Tuesday night, it was unclear how much territory the rebels had captured, with some reports suggesting they were in full control.

Even as the fighting raged, American and African mediators were pushing the sides to attend peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and by afternoon, rebel and government officials announced they would send representatives, raising the prospects of a truce. Donald Booth, the U.S. special envoy to South Sudan, said in a statement that it is “an important first step, toward achieving a cessation of hostilities,” in the world's newest country.

Still, the situation in Bor remained tense, if unclear, lhours after the peace talks were announced, with both rebel and government forces refusing to back down. “There is fighting and confusion in Bor,” said South Sudanese military spokesman Philip Aguer. “We are not in contact with our commander.”

Taking over Bor could also deliver a strong blow to Kiir's ability to govern the country, analysts say. The town, the capital of the central state of Jonglei, is the stronghold of the Dinkas, Kiir's ethnic group and the largest one in South Sudan.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. China’s Communist Party angles to improve judiciary
  2. Deadly crash into train station prompts crackdown in Jerusalem
  3. Teen girls found no roadblock to flights
  4. Canadians more fearful, aware after ‘very rare’ attack in Ottawa
  5. South Korea: Two Koreas exchange gunfire along border
  6. Saudis tell women: Don’t defy and drive
  7. U.S. airstrikes beat back Islamic State’s push for Mosul dam
  8. Gunman in Ottawa attack had been waiting for passport to go to Syria
  9. Loophole rewards expelled Nazi suspects with Social Security benefits
  10. Abbas seems desperate in round of belligerent rhetoric
  11. U.S. losing drug war in Afghanistan despite $7.6B eradication effort, inspector general reports
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.