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South Sudan army accused of new attacks in W. Bahr el Ghazal state

December 6, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese armed opposition group, the SPLA-IO, under the leadership of former Vice-President, Riek Machar, said their cantonment areas came under attacks by forces loyal to President Salva Kiir in Western Bahr el-Ghazal state despite the ceasefire deal signed in August by the two warring parties to end the 21 months of violent conflict in the country.

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SPLA soldiers in Malakal, capital of the battleground oil-state of Upper Nile on 15 May 2014 (Photo AFP/Ivan Lieman)

Official spokesman of the opposition leadership confirmed that attacks were reported on Saturday on their bases.

“Forces loyal to the regime in Juba have continued to target our cantonment areas in clear violation of the ceasefire and security arrangements,” said James Gatdet Dak.

“On Saturday government forces attacked our cantonment area in Bazia. They have been however repulsed, but fighting has continued even on Sunday,” he said.

He accused government forces of targeting civilians in the area, saying President Salva Kiir’s forces falsely accused civilians of being supporters of the opposition fighters in the area.

Dak called on the government to respect the ceasefire and stop targeting cantonment areas across the country.

Earlier, the opposition faction accused government forces of air raiding Mundri cantonment area in Western Equatoria state in which they lost two Brigadier Generals and a number of soldiers in the attack.

The two parties in October agreed on a security arrangement to assemble their respective forces in cantonment areas, pending reunification process for at least 18 months of the transitional period.

The attacks came as members of the advance team from the opposition group are preparing to travel to Juba for the implementation of the peace agreement.

Other unofficial unreliable sources also claimed that government forces were matching towards the Lou-Nuer area to attack it in Jonglei state.

(ST)