South Sudan’s military says it is no longer in control of a town in a rural state where fighting has spread in the aftermath of what the government says was an attempted coup mounted by soldiers loyal to a former deputy president.
Military spokesman Col. Philip Aguer said Thursday that the authorities in Bor, the capital of the state of Jonglei, were not answering their phones, leading the government to believe they had defected.
He said there were reported gunfights in Bor overnight, offering no more details.
Ethnic rivalry is threatening to tear apart the world’s newest country, with the clashes apparently pitting soldiers from the majority Dinka tribe of President Salva Kiir against those from ousted Vice President Riek Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.
Hundreds of people have been killed in violence since the alleged coup attempt Sunday.