South Sudan’s army has regained the rebel-held Bentiu area to give the government control of its oilfields where production had been halted, the military spokesman, Philip Aguer, said on Friday.
The South Sudan’s oil production fell by 45,000 barrels per day to 200,000 after oilfields in the northern Unity state were shut down last month due to fighting.
Aguer told Reuters, in reference to the capture of Bentiu, “when you control Bentiu, you control all the oilfields in Unity state’’.
It was not clear when oil production might resume as foreign companies have evacuated their workers.
There was no immediate comment from the rebels.
The three weeks of fighting, often along ethnic faultlines, had pitted President Salva Kiir’s SPLA government forces against rebels loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar.
The fighting has brought the oil-exporting nation close to civil war and more than a thousand people have been killed in the unrest.
Bentiu had been one of two state capitals held by rebel troops loyal to Machar.