Speaking to Gurtong this morning, Upper Nile State Petroleum and Mining Minister Hon. Francis Ayul, said the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) troops withdrew from the town and crossed the Nile, about three kilometres away.
“Our forces were exhausted in the continuous fights since Tuesday. So they have to be withdrawn and set another preparation for comeback,” said Ayul.
Sources from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound in Malakal said that the rebels took control of Malakal on Tuesday.
“Yesterday, we saw some heavy tanks moving from Malakal main town to the side of Akoka County,” said a citizen seeking protection at the UNMISS base.
William Chol a Malakal resident but now in Paloich also said the government forces withdrew from the state capital but could not clearly tell which direction they went.
Gurtong tried to get a comment from the state government spokesperson but it failed as his phone could not go through.
Accordingly, some oil workers were on Wednesday evacuated from Adar Petroleum to Juba due to the fear the fighting over Malakal between the government and anti-government forces.
Fighting broke out in Malakal on Tuesday when the rebels attacked early in the morning according to the Deputy Governor Gen. John Ivo.
Both parties have been trading accusation of each other attacking the other first.