The central government of South Sudan lost control of the capital of an important oil producing state Sunday, according to the military. Rogue forces that are loyal to an erstwhile deputy president have seized territory in fighting that has elevated fears that an imminent civil war is about to happen in the world’s youngest country.
Currently Under Rebel Hands
The capital of the oil-rich Unity state, Bentiu is now being controlled by a military commander that is loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, according to Col. Philip Aguer, the military spokesman for the South Sudanese military. He said, “Bentiu is in the hands of a commander who has declared support for Machar. Bentiu, which is not in our hands.” According to reports, heavily armed rebels have said to have taken control of most of South Sudan’s oil fields, which have been historically a target for rebel forces, endangering the nation’s primary economic lifeline.