South Sudanese army says 56 rebels were killed over the weekend during clashes between government and opposition forces near Malakal in the northeast.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) spokesman General Lul Ruai Kuang told AFP that on their side they lost four soldiers and 20 were injured.
“The number of rebels killed after our count is 56. From our side, we lost four SPLA soldiers and 20 were injured,” he said, claiming nearly 200 pieces of weapons, including grenade launchers and machine guns, were recovered by the government troops.
“The number of rebels killed after our count is 56. From our side, we lost four SPLA soldiers and 20 were injured.”
General Kuang added that the rebels attacked the army on Friday evening and they repelled them.
“Our forces repelled them and they disappeared. Most rebel fighters killed were minors, aged between 13 and 18 years,” he said.
The army is accusing former rebel leader Riek Machar and his Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) army of attacking them.
Machar last month called for an armed struggle against President Salva Kiir’s government which they accuse of attacking them.
His call received heavy criticism from international bodies and neighbouring Sudan where he is staying on humanitarian grounds.
Riek Machar fled Juba following clashes between his SPLM-IO forces and Salva Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in July.
He left Sudan where he is based for South Africa to seek medical attention.
The army has called on South Africa not to allow the former vice president into their country. They also call on the rest of the world to issue a travel ban against Machar, as long as he continues to wage war on South Sudan.