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South Sudan rebels accuse government of fresh violations

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November 8, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese government has been accused by the country’s rebel group of launching fresh attacks just a day after rival leaders recommitted themselves to the cessation of hostilities agreement at the Addis Ababa summit by the regional heads of state and government.

South Sudanese rebel troops loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar stand on guard in Unity state capital Bentiu on 12 January 2014 after recapturing the strategic town from government troops (Photo: Reuters)

Chief negotiator for the rebel faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-in-Opposition), General Taban Deng Gai, said their areas came under heavy attacks by troops loyal to president Salva Kiir and their foreign allies in Unity state on Saturday morning.

Deng said combined forces of the government and the foreign Sudanese rebels of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army-North (SPLA-North) carried out coordinated separate attacks on defence positions of the rebel forces led by former vice-president, Riek Machar.

“On November 8, 2014, GRSS, JEM and SPLA-North forces advanced from Bentiu and Pariang and attacked our positions at Tor and Hofra in Unity State,” the statement partly reads.

He said the rebels "condemn in the strongest terms possible the continuous aggression and violation" of the ceasefire, and called on regional peace mediators to investigate the renewed “aggression.”

South Sudan’s army spokesman Philip Aguer, on Saturday however, said he was not aware of any fresh attacks launched by the government troops, insisting that pro-government soldiers "have not moved anywhere.”

The Sudanese rebel groups deny any involvement in the inter South Sudanese conflict and said ready to support reconciliation between the two warring parties.

On Friday Kiir and Machar agreed on most of the power-sharing arrangements including commanding their separate armies during the initial phases of the transitional period after a peace agreement.

Kiir in his comments during the talks said he ordered his troops to remain in their locations and not to attack the rebel forces.

Observers however say the two factions may want to expand their respective areas of control before a final agreement is sealed on security arrangements.

The East African regional bloc, IGAD, which has been trying to broker a peace deal, has given the two principal leaders 15 days to finalise a transitional power-sharing accord.

They also warned the belligerent parties of consequences should any of them violate the renewed commitment to cease hostilities, with punishments ranging from asset freezes, travel bans and arms embargo, as well as military action.

"The IGAD region shall, without further reference to the warring parties, take the necessary measures to directly intervene in South Sudan to protect life and restore peace," partly reads the IGAD resolution released on Friday.

The civil war has left tens of thousands dead, forced almost two million from their homes, pushed the country to the brink of famine and has been marked by widespread atrocities by both sides.

Fighting started on 15 December when internal party political debates on reforms turned violent with Kiir accusing his former deputy of allegedly planning a coup, a claim Machar dismissed as a ploy by the president to start the violence.

(ST)

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  • 9 November 2014 08:40, by Mi diit

    Nyankiir’s husband, criminal Museveni, told her to attack the rebels because he is not happy about the peace agreement.

    Let us wait and see if those good-for-nothing bribed IGAD leaders will condemn Kiir for trashing their mediation efforts.

    • 9 November 2014 08:54, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      This rebels is fool, they wants to fool the world, while they have inner planning against the government. But they don’t know whether they digging hole for themselves forself buried.



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