May 10, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan army (SPLA) on Saturday said it would abide by the terms of the ceasefire deal government signed with its rebels and advised the latter to comply with the same agreement.
- The South Sudanese army (SPLA) spokesperson, Phillip Aguer (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
“There is no question about respecting the ceasefire agreement. The SPLA is not known for violating agreements. It is not part of our culture. So we assure our people of our commitment to fully implement the ceasefire as instructed by the leadership of this country,” Phillip Aguer told reporters on Saturday.
“It should also be known that the SPLA as a national army takes orders from the president as the commander in chief of the army and all the other organised forces and whatever he says is implemented,” he added.
Aguer denied claims that the army attacked rebel forces in Unity state, saying the area has since been under their control after its recapture from the army last week.
“This is not true. Our forces did not carry out attack in Unity state. What happened is that it was they [rebels] who attempted to return to the area,but it was foiled,” he said.
The military officer was reacting to media reports, which quoted rebel officials saying government troops in Unity state’s Rukona county allegedly attacked rebel positions on Friday forcing them to retreat into the centre of the state capital, Bentiu.
This accusation a day after president Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, signed ceasefire agreement, seeking to end the five-month conflict which has displaced more than a million people and claimed over 10,000 lives.
The security deal, the second attempt of its kind, came into effect on Saturday. It is intended to reinforce the previous pact, which both rivals signed in on 23 January. The deal collapsed within days as both sides traded accusations against the other.