South Sudan's military captures rebel headquarters
South Sudanese government troops on Sunday overran a strategic rebel stronghold and headquarters close to the Ethiopian border, the military said Monday, marking the latest battlefield victory for the government despite a unilateral ceasefire.
"The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) is in full control of Pagak, the opposition headquarters because the national army could not stand the daily provocations from these anti-peace elements of [exiled former vice president] Riek Machar," South Sudan army spokesman Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang told Anadolu Agency.
The army is still clearing the town of rebel remnants and there are casualties on both sides, he said.
Last month, the UN mission in South Sudan said there was an "extremely worrying" situation in Pagak and surrounding areas, after over 20,000 civilians fled to neighboring Ethiopia after government troops launched a sweeping offensive to retake rebel-held areas of Maiwut and Pagak.
The embattled town of Pagak has been a rebel stronghold and headquarters of the country's exiled former vice president Riek Machar since the beginning of the civil war in Dec. 2013.
Since then, the civil war in the world's newest nation has claimed tens of thousands of lives and uprooted more than 3.5 million people, many of them to neighboring Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan.