South Sudanese government forces said they seized the flashpoint town of Bor back from rebels yesterday and Uganda’s army claimed credit for the operation, highlighting the depth of its involvement in the conflict.
A rebel spokesman in Addis Ababa, where talks aimed at securing a ceasefire have been grinding on, said he could not yet confirm the status of Bor, which has been heavily fought over since the conflict erupted in mid-December.
“The Spla gallant forces finalised the operation to capture Bor from the forces of rebellion by entering Bor town today [yesterday],” Philip Aguer, spokesman for the government SPLA forces, said.
The United Nations says thousands of people have been killed and more than half a million driven from their homes in the fighting in the world’s newest nation.
It has pitted troops loyal to President Salva Kiir against rebels backing Riek Machar, who was sacked as vice president in July.
“The Spla has defeated more than 15 000 forces of Riek Machar,” Aguer said.
“The Spla has frustrated Riek Machar’s plan to advance and attack Juba, and install himself as the ruler of South Sudan.”