By Denis Elamu and Daniel
Majack JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudanese officials on Monday called
for unconditional release of two Indian oil workers
kidnapped by rebels last week at Guelguk, home to the
Adar oil field in the northern Upper Nile region.
transitional unity government (TGoNU) calls for
unconditional release of (two) Indian nationals. We will
not pay 1 million U.S dollars demanded by the
terrorists,” Minister of Information Michael Makuei told
journalists in Juba.
the government, the abduction took place on March 8,
contradicting the SPLA-in Opposition (SPLA-IO) account
of March 9, when the two oil workers were captured after
heavy fighting between rebels and government troops.
that they were seeking the regional body
Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD),
which had helped broker the 2015 peace agreement to end
conflict, to gazette SPLA-IO as terrorist group.
Minister of Petroleum Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth disclosed
that security at the various oil fields has been beefed
up in the aftermath of the kidnapping.
deploying the army (SPLA), national security services
and police,” he said.
He added the
Indian government told them it would not get involved in
the incident and would instead leave it wholly to the
South Sudanese government.
has aimed to increase its oil production from below
130,000 barrels a day (bpd) to at least over 350,000
country is facing hyper inflation nearing 800 percent,
and yet it relies 98 percent on oil export to finance
its fiscal budget.
descended into violence in December 2013, following
political dispute between president Salva Kiir and
former vice president Riek Machar resulting in killing
of tens of thousands of people and displacement of more
than 2 million.
Sudan criticizes Japan for ending peacekeeping
Gale JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- The South Sudanese
government on Monday criticized Japan for its decision
to pull out its troops from the United Nations Mission
in South Sudan (UNMISS) after five years of supporting
peace and reconstruction efforts in the conflict-ravaged
for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mawen Makol told
Xinhua by phone that the South Sudanese government sees
no threat against the Japanese troops in Juba as there
is some relative peace in the country.
is getting to normalcy now and this is the time where we
are expecting the goodwill of the UN peacekeeping
mission here in South Sudan to help until we finally
achieve a peaceful settlement and peace in the country,”
seeing some relative peace in the country so I do not
see any reason for Japan to say the situation in South
Sudan is still volatile. So withdrawal is not helpful
because this is a time that we need a helping hand from
countries like Japan,” he added.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced last week that the
country would withdraw the Self-Defense Force (SDF) from
UNMISS by the end of May.
started contributing a contingent of 350 Ground Self-Defense
to the UN mission since 2012 to assist in building
peacekeeping mission was extended last November for five
months, but the Japanese government immediately came
under pressure from opposition parties concerning the
security situation in the conflict-hit country.
South Sudan army says
23 rebel fighters killed in weekend clashes
JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
The South Sudanese army (SPLA) said on
Monday that it killed 23 rebel fighters during renewed
clashes in northern South Sudan over the weekend.
Spokesman Lul Ruai Koang told Xinhua that fresh fighting
in Yuai area in the newly created Bieh state left at
least 23 opposition fighters killed.
hostile forces loyal to Riek Machar attacked our
defensive positions at Yuai in Bieh State. Our forces
were able to repulse the attack with heavy causalities.
23 rebel fighters were killed and we also captured some
weaponry,” Koang said.
declined to give casualties figures on the side of the
government, saying that “the government troops are
paying a price to ensure that civilians are not killed
and ensure that strategic grounds are not lost.”
He said last
week, a senior army officer at the rank of a colonel and
four of his body guards were killed in the former
Eastern Equatoria state.
has been devastated by civil war that broke out in
December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his
former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. Machar
denied the accusation but then mobilized a rebel force.
A peace deal
signed in August 2015 led to the formation of a
transitional unity government in April, but was again
shattered by fresh violence in July, 2016.
thousands of South Sudanese have been killed, with over
2 million displaced and another 4.6 million left
severely food insecure, since December 2013.
the UN declared localized famine in parts of South
Sudan, warning that some 100,000 people, nearly half of
the population is in dire need of food aid.