South Sudan rebels warn oil workers to vacate oilfields

September 2, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudanese rebels have warned oil workers operating in the oil-producing regions of Unity state to leave the area.

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A worker at the power plant of an oil processing facility in South Sudan’s Unity state on 22 April 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

The rebel spokesperson, Brig. Gen William Gatjiath said their forces were heading to the oil fields, claims Sudan Tribune could not verity.

“We would, therefore, like to once again remind all oil workers to evacuate the oil fields in Unity State without any delay,” he said.

The rebel official urged oil workers not to ignore their warnings and that failure to comply could mean placing their lives at risk.

The rebels, Gatjiath said in statement, are in control of Guit county.

He claimed rebels under the command of Maj. General Tito Biel Wieh of north division in Unity state, captured the two areas.

Gatjiath further said 20 pro-government were killed while five were captured, claimed which Sudan Tribune could not independently verify.

Since its independence, South Sudan has relied on oil for all income, a situation that has significantly compounded the ongoing political and economic instability due to the fall in crude oil prices globally.

South Sudan, however, got the lion’s share of the oil when it split from Sudan in 2011, but it’s only export route is through Sudan, giving Khartoum leverage and leading to the ongoing disputes in pricing.

A civil war broke out in South Sudan in mid-December 2013 after President Salva Kiir sacked his former deputy Riek Machar. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than two million displaced on the country’s worst ever-violence since its secession from Sudan in 2011.