Juba welcomes Khartoum leading role in mediation of S. Sudan conflict
South Sudanese government on Monday said it welcomed the decision by the East African regional bloc of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which requested the neighbouring Sudan to play a leading role in resolving the ongoing internal conflict in South Sudan.
South Sudanese foreign minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said his government would welcome Khartoum’s mediation’s process which would address root causes of the conflict and respect for sovereignty of the new independent state.
“We welcome any initiative for peace as long as that initiative addresses the core issues and does not undermine sovereignty of the Republic of South Sudan,” he told reporters in the capital, Juba.
South Sudan to “disarm” rebels after recapturing Malakal
The South Sudanese army (SPLA) has vowed to disarm all government-turned rebel fighters after they regained full control of Malakal, the Upper Nile state capital on Monday. The country’s defence minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk told reporters in Juba that the army was moving to clear the young nation of rebels.
“We [SPLA] captured Malakal this morning,” the minister told reporters shortly after he was summoned by the council of states.
“We have to disarm those who took up guns because if they opted to take up guns, then we must meet them with guns,” he added.
S Sudan gains ‘full control’ of oil town from rebels
South Sudan’s military has gained ‘full control’ of the strategic oil town of Malakal, after days of fierce fighting with rebel forces, the government has said.
Army spokesman Philip Aguer said troops loyal to President Salva Kiir had “completed their control of Malakal town” after several days of fighting during which “whole enemy force was destroyed”.
Inside Story – South Sudan’s forgotten crisis
However, he also said defence chiefs had “ordered a hot pursuit to track down the rebels wherever they may be heading from Malakal”.
There was no immediate reaction from the rebels, who attacked the town 10 days ago after a pro-government militia leader defected to the rebels.