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S. Sudan rebels accuse army of attacks in Yei River state

June 9, 2018 (YEI) – South Sudan armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) has accused the pro-government military of attacking its base at Kenyira in Mugwo Payam of Yei River county.

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“The attackers ran back in disarray with suspected casualties and our gallant soldiers captured three AK47 from the coward attackers,” said Wayi Godwill, a spokesperson for the rebel-appointed governor.

He added in a statement, “We are outraged by this attack which led to the abduction of a boy and an old man by the aggressors, and we are demanding for their unconditional release”.

Another clash, the rebel official said, erupted at Payawa, 9 miles Yei-Kaya road when a government convoy travelling from Kaya to Yei town allegedly shelled the armed opposition’s base in the area.

“These attacks are in breach of the CoHA [Cessation of Hostilities Agreement] and have affected the free movement of the civilian population along this road,” further said Wayi.

He called upon the ceasefire monitors to investigate these attacks from the government forces, establish the facts and hold culprits accountable.

Last month, the rival parties involved in South Sudan’s peace talks concluded the Second Phase of the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) without striking a deal on the implementation of the governance and security arrangements.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in fighting between troops loyal to Kiir and forces led by his former deputy Riek Machar since 2013. The conflict has also left a quarter of South Sudan’s population of 12 million, either internally displaced or as refugees in neighbouring countries.