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Iran Press TV

Rival pro-government troops clash in South Sudan's Malakal

Iran Press TV

Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:44PM

Rival pro-government troops in South Sudan have clashed in the war-ravaged country's northeastern city of Malakal.

The South Sudanese army said on Wednesday that during the latest fighting in the capital of the oil-producing Upper Nile State, forces loyal to the state governor clashed with troops of General Johnson Olony, an ex-rebel who commands Shilluk, a pro-government ethnic militia.

According to military spokesman, Philip Aguer, the fighting erupted late on Tuesday and intensified on Wednesday morning.

Aid workers and residents of the city also reported powerful blasts and "gunfire from all sides." Shooting purportedly decreased later in the afternoon.

Olony was ordered to report to army headquarters in March following the UN reports that accused him of kidnapping a large number of child soldiers.

Malakal has already seen huge damage after repeatedly changing hands between rebels and the government.

South Sudan plunged into chaos in December 2013, when fighting erupted between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and defectors led by his former deputy and rebel leader, Riek Machar, around the capital, Juba.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed during the war in the world's youngest nation, with the clashes leaving more than half of its 12 million people in need of aid, according to the UN.

Meanwhile, the UN World Food Program (WFP) has said it is halting food aid deliveries to parts of Upper Nile, due to the danger that its staff face in the area.


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