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Government troops accused of launching fresh attacks on Unity state

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July 14, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese rebels from the SPLM/A in Opposition have accused government troops of launching fresh attacks on Unity state on Sunday, wounding two fighters.

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Soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) on guard in Bentiu, the capital of South Sudan’s Unity state on 12 January 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

In an email sent to Sudan Tribune, opposition military spokesman Lul Ruai Koang alleged that rebel “defensive positions” in Mayom county had come under attack.

“Government troops shelled and launched simultaneous ground attacks on our (rebels) defensive positions at Gabaat and Athuoy military outposts,” said Koang.

Col. Philip Aguer, the spokesman for the South Sudanese army (SPLA) could not be reached for comment in response to the claims.

On Friday, Aguer accused rebels of attacking government troops on multiple fronts in the flashpoint states of Unity and Upper Nile.

He claimed there had been unusual movements of opposition troops in Jonglei state in preparation for a planned attack on Ayod.

Sudan Tribune was unable to independently verify the claims.

Government and opposition forces have been engaged in fierce clashes in the remote villages of the Greater Upper Nile region since fighting erupted in South Sudan in mid-December last year after a political split in the ruling SPLM turned violent.

Both sides have been accused of violating a ceasefire agreement signed in January in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar recommitted themselves to the accord in May, but reports of clashes have continued unabated.

“The attacks were repulsed, two of our resistance (rebels) fighters sustained light gunshot wounds,” Koang said, adding that the attack had occurred on Sunday at about 5pm (Juba time).

Unity state has been the scene of heavy fighting since violence broke out, changing hands several times at the height of the conflict.

(ST)

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