Sudan rebels claim control

KHARTOUM. – South Sudan rebels yesterday said their forces have controlled great parts of Foluj oil field, the main oil-producing field in Upper Nile State.

“Our forces on Tuesday controlled great parts of Foluj town and its oilfield,” Manawa Peter, spokesperson of South Sudan rebels led by former Vice President Riek Machar, told Xinhua yesterday.

“The fighting is still continuing and we expect to fully capture the oilfield today,” he noted.

He said “controlling the oilfields and refineries is our major goal because Juba government uses the oil revenues to purchase arms to prolong the war and pay the salaries of the Ugandan troops which back the South Sudan government forces.”

The South Sudan rebels on Tuesday announced that they have captured an oil refinery near a major oil field in Upper Nile State, and demanded oil firms suspend their operation and evacuate the staff.

“Our forces are still fighting the government forces at the area where lies Paloch oil field, the biggest in Upper Nile State,” James Gatdet, spokesman for South Sudan rebels, said in a statement Tuesday.

The seized refinery is located some 10 km from the main Paloch oil fields in Upper Nile State.

A number of foreign oil companies are operating in the oil industry in Sudan, including China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd and Petronas of Malaysia. – Xinhua.