Home | News    Monday 31 August 2015

S. Sudan rivals trade accusations over ceasefire violations

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August 30, 2015 (JUBA) - Rival forces in South Sudan conflict have issued statements counter-accusing each other of violations of the permanent ceasefire hours after it came into effect on Saturday midnight as declared by president Salva Kiir and armed opposition leader, Riek Machar.

Soldiers from the South Sudan army (SPLA) patrol the streets in the Upper Nile state capital, Malakal, on 21 January 2014 (Photo: AFP/Charles Lomodong)

The spokesperson of the government forces, Colonel Phillip Aguer, issued a series of statements on Saturday evening and again on Sunday, accusing forces loyal to the former vice president, Riek Machar, to have carried out attack on positions held by forces allied to president Kiir in Malakal town.

The intention of the rebels attack on the government forces, according to Aguer, was to gain more territories which they were seeking to use as assembling points in the event peace deal is implemented.

“Their intention is to gain more territories. This is the purpose of these attacks. That was why they attacked the positions of our forces in Malakal yesterday (Saturday) and again today (Sunday),” said Aguer.

“For us, our forces will not attack them but they have the right for self-defense,” he added.

However, the military officer revealed that the government had dispatched troops using river transports for delivery of military supplies to Malakal town, capital of the remaining oil producing Upper Nile state.

Spokesman of the leader of the armed opposition leader, Machar, on Saturday and Sunday said government forces moving with barges and gunboats from Juba to Malakal along the river Nile have been attacking their bases.

“Government forces have been attacking our bases along the river Nile. They attacked Tayer port on 26 August, the day President Kiir signed the peace Agreement. They attacked our base at Adok port on Friday as they continue to move northwards towards Malakal. Government forces in Malakal also shelled our base on the west bank,” said Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak.

Government spokesman, Philip Aguer, admitted that government forces were moving along the river Nile through territories controlled by the rebels, warning that they will fire back in self-defense should they come under attack from the rebel forces.

Peter Adwok Nyaba, one of the leading figures in the armed opposition faction led by Machar confirmed separately that government forces on Sunday shot at one of their speed boats while traveling between Wau Shilluk and Watbajwok around Malakal, wounding one passenger.

“The information we have is that the government forces continued shelling Ditang, Bukieny, Obuwa and Lelo. Our forces did not return fire respecting the orders of the commander-in-chief Dr. Riek Machar to cease fire,” said Nyaba.

Dak also said their forces came under separate attacks on Sunday morning in their bases in Koch, Leer and Mayiandit counties, just hours after the ceasefire went into force.

NEW ACTING SPOKESMAN FOR SPLA-IO

Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, who has been handling both political and military issues as spokesman after defection of military spokesman, Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang, to government, said there is now an acting military spokesman to handle military issues.

“I want to take this opportunity to introduce to you my colleague, Colonel William Gatjiath Deng, who has become our acting military spokesperson,” Dak said on Sunday while distributing to the media Colonel Deng’s first press statement on the military situation after violation of the permanent ceasefire.

Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang, who was military spokesperson for the rebels’ military defected to the government this year. His deputy, Colonel James L. Thichot Ngundeng, who became the acting military spokesperson also defected from Machar with the group of Major General Peter Gatdet Yak and Major General Gathoth Gatkuoth.

Dak urged journalists to also establish contacts with the acting military spokesman, Deng, as he may be dealing mainly with political issues.

(ST)

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  • 31 August 2015 01:59, by Akol Liai Mager

    May the culture of killing, lying and conspiring be replaced with the culture of protecting, telling truth and working together than conspiring behind closed doors and that will help God to help us implement the new CPA in good faith for a quick exit of our country from this dark tunnel and bloody page.

    • 31 August 2015 06:40, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      Olony is not happy with the appointment of Chol Thon, Gony Biliu and monytuil Wecjang sons are not happy for giving their states to SPLM/IO. can anybody tell me now how this mess is going to be unravel in order for ceasefire to work?. for Nuer lives to save, The IGAD must also initiate an agreement between Nuer from gov and the one of IO.

      • 31 August 2015 06:56, by Lotodo Awino Odug

        There can be peace if IGAD can find Solution to Shilluk problem, bring all Nuer under one umbrella to work out the modalities on how they gonna share their states and national quotas.

        • 31 August 2015 07:17, by Mi diit

          Lotodo,

          You also seem to forget that there is need for another internal peace agreement between Salva Kiir’s Dinka groups and Dinka groups under Paul Malong Awan (chief of staff) backed by Dinka (Jieng) council of elders and Makuei Lueth, etc.

          There is possibility of internal military coup in Juba which is a threat to the implementation of the peace agreement.

          Malong continues to order forces.

          • 31 August 2015 07:33, by Lotodo Awino Odug

            you are right on that point Midiit! but you have to know one thing, Dinkas can reach a lasting solution in one hour. I am worrying about the conundrum this peace is going to put Nuer through. what I am is a shift that will only kill Nuer in their own land.



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