10 hrs ago
He also said defence chiefs had "ordered a hot pursuit to track down the rebels wherever they may be heading from Malakal".
There was no immediate reaction from the rebels, who attacked the town 10 days ago after a pro-government militia leader changed sides.
The civil war in the world's youngest nation began in December 2013, when South Sudan's President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings across the country.
South Sudanese government forces launched a major assault on rebel-held areas in the north in late April, in what has been described as one of the heaviest offensives in the 17-month long civil war.
The fighting has cut off over 650,000 people from aid, with gunmen torching towns, raping residents and looting relief supplies, according to the United Nations and aid agencies.