The South Sudanese president has asked parliament to approve a state of emergency in Upper Nile state, as tensions stoke fears of an all-out war between troops and rebels, a report says.
South Sudan President Salva Kiir asked the assembly to return from recess and hold an emergency session to seal the state of emergency for the oil-rich state within 15 days, according to a document made public by the parliament on Monday.
The report follows an announcement by army spokesman Philip Aguer that the South Sudanese troops managed to defeat rebel fighters loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar in Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile state.
The strategic town has already switched hands numerous times since the outbreak of the intense fighting in South Sudan.
Meanwhile, President Kiir has already announced a state of emergency in Unity and Jonglei states.
On January 10, Unity capital Bentiu was taken by government troops.
Violent clashes erupted in South Sudan on December 15, 2013, after Kiir accused Machar of attempting to stage a coup.
The former vice president dismissed the accusations, saying the president was taking advantage of a clash between members of the military as an excuse to carry out a purge.
Peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have stalled over the rebel demand that Kiir release 11 Machar supporters he accuses of plotting a coup.
Up to 10,000 people are believed to have been killed so far in the violence gripping South Sudan.
According to the United Nations, about 400,000 civilians have also fled their homes in the wake of heavy fighting there.