“Renk is relatively calm but people are traumatized and in big fear. SPLA are fighting with rebels just very near at the neighbouring town of Wadakona. We don’t know who between the two armies is in control,” a Renk resident who preferred anonymity told Gurtong.
Another resident says people are already evacuating Renk town as they are terrified by the ongoing clashes, west of the Nile.
Wadakona is the Headquarters of Manyo County, north of Upper Nile state adjacent to Renk. The twin-towns are separated by the White Nile River.
Renk serves as the headquarters of Renk County and it has been peaceful since December. As Malakal was captured by rebels, the state government relocated its base to Renk which is the state’s second largest town.
Wadakona has exchanged hands with rebels several times since the armed conflict began last mid-December in South Sudan.
Kaka is another major town in Manyo County and its control is shared by the government and anti- government forces.
Both Wadakona and Renk towns are north and very near to Paloch oil-fields which government and rebel fighters try to control to boost their sides economically.
Recently, the rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar announced plans of taking over all the oil fields to cut off the most reliable source of income for the Juba government. He said only the stepping down of the president would stop the fight.