The SPLA says it has captured rebel chief, Riek Machar’s home town Leer.
SPLA Sector One Command official told National Courier that they took Leer yesterday after a brief fight.
Leer, located South of Bentiu, is the latest town to fall to the SPLA as it continues it’s offensive into the rebel heartland in an attempt to link up with their forces East of the White Nile.
Last week, SPLA failed to capture Leer after the rebels employed unconventional means of warfare.
The rebels mined the main road connecting Bentiu and the village, according to a senior SPLA military officer at the front.
Sources within Bilpham also revealed that pro-SPLA militias have captured most of the territory in southern Unity.
SPLA captures villages in Jonglei
The SPLA over the weekend also captured the capital of Uror County, Jonglei State according to a military source at the Front.
Yuai, the spiritual homeland of Lou where their prophet Dak Kueth hails, was taken Saturday evening after the SPLA launched an offensive from Pajut some 10 miles south.
Rebel sources contacted by NC denied that they have lost control and insisted that clashes are ongoing outside the village as of this morning.
The rebel spokesman is yet to comment on the matter.
Meanwhile, SPLA also lost the Upper Nile State capital, Malakal to rebels after their Gen Johnson Olony defected to opposition.
Red Cross says 100,000 displaced in Leer
The International Committee of the Red Cross says that about 100,000 civilians displaced from Leer in southern Unity State suffer from lack of food and health care amid reports that the South Sudanese army captured the town.
In a statement today, the Red Cross referred to the “uprooting” of the civilian population from Leer town saying prolonged displacement exposes people to suffering.
“We fear that the situation of some 100,000 people in Leer, who are now hiding in unimaginably difficult conditions, will worsen day by day,” said ICRC delegation chief Franz Rauchenstein.
The Red Cross has called on warring parties not to impede the movement of civilians trying to escape hostilities.
“The ICRC fears the hostilities could sever escape routes used by civilians to flee the area, and we remind all armed actors of the absolute demand under International Humanitarian Law for civilians not to be targeted during warfare,” reads the statement.
“How many times will South Sudanese civilians be forced to flee a town under attack, knowing that if they don’t their lives will be in danger?”
The Red Cross noted that the displacement of civilians in Leer comes just as the country’s planting period is under way.