Home | News    Saturday 16 August 2014

Rival S. Sudan forces trade accusations over fresh clashes

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

August 15, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s rival forces traded accusations on Friday over violations of a cessation hostilities agreement after fighting broke out in Unity state, forcing aid workers and civilians to seek protection at the United Nations base in the capital, Bentiu.

JPEG - 18.2 kb
Soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) disembark from a pick-up truck in Unity state capital Bentiu on 12 January 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Andreea Campeanu)

“What happened today (Friday) in Unity state is a total disregard of the cessation hostilities agreement. It is an outright violation of the ceasefire. The rebels of Riek Machar under the general command of Peter Gadet launched an attack on the positions held by our gallant forces in four different locations this morning,” presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny exclusively told Sudan Tribune.

He claimed the rebels intended to capture Bentiu to enhance their position at the ongoing peace talks with government under the mediation of the East African regional bloc (IGAD).

“The SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army) forces eventually repulsed the rebels. This belligerent act, given the level of consistency, shows the rebels do not care about the ceasefire agreement which their leaders have signed,” said Ateny.

“It [is] also proving that Riek Machar is actually not in control of the forces he claims to be under him or else he is the one violating the agreement for political pressures and gains in the talks, which is totally unacceptable,” he added.

Acting SPLA spokesperson Lt. Col. Joseph Marier Samuel separately confirmed the incident, accusing rebels of launching a dawn attack, prompting government troops to act in self-defence.

“It was [a] coordinated attack, but our forces managed to repulse them with heavy casualties. This is part of a continuous violation of the ceasefire agreement by the rebels. Our forces acted only in self-defence because they were attacked in their positions,” he said in a statement issued on Friday.

Rebel forces, however, are claiming to be in full control of Bentiu, with the opposition’s spokesman in Unity state, Lt. Col Peter Riek Gew, telling Sudan Tribune by satellite phone that troops were pursuing remnants of the SPLA, which had fled into the bush towards Parieng county.

“We have now captured twin towns of Rubkotna and Bentiu from government [troops],” he said.

Gew said rebels had been forced to respond after continuous shelling by government forces on various rebel strongholds in the state.

He claimed that more than 150 government troops had been killed during the intensive fighting, including a SPLA brigadier general and Mayiandit county commissioner Ruai Gai.

Mayom county MP Peter Dak Khan also told Sudan Tribune that Bentiu had fallen to rebel forces, accusing the SPLA of instigating the fighting.

“It is unfortunate that our brother does not give peace a chance to solve the ongoing conflicts,” he said.

A resident at the UN camp in Rubkotna county who spoke on condition of anonymity said gunshots could be heard to the east of the camp in the direction of Parieng and that rebel forces appeared to be in full control of the capital.

UN MISSION SHELTERS CIVILIANS

Meanwhile, the UN mission in the country (UNMISS) said it had provided protection and shelter to civilians who fled Bentiu town after fighting broke out.

“During the violence approximately 340 civilians fled from Bentiu and took shelter with UNMISS troops stationed at the airport. UNMISS protected the civilians and then escorted them from the airport to the protection of civilian area in the UNMISS compound outside Bentiu,” UNMISS said on Friday.

According to UNMISS, fighting broke out between 6:30am and 9:00am (local time), involving the use of heavy, sustained small arms and artillery fire, which could be heard to the south-east of its base in Bentiu. One artillery shell reportedly exploded next to the UN base without harm.

“I am deeply troubled by this morning’s outbreak of violence and condemn it,” said Toby Lanzer, the officer in charge of UNMISS, adding that the mission took swift action to protect civilians who sought shelter at the airport and those that continued to arrive at its Bentiu base.

“I call on those responsible for today’s (Friday) hostilities to refrain from any further violence and to avoid any action that hinder the protection or assistance provided by UNMISS and aid agencies respectively,” the top UN official said.

During its extraordinary summit held in Kenya on Wednesday, regional leaders from IGAD called for the imposition of tougher actions on parties obstructing South Sudan’s peace process.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 16 August 08:35, by Madina Tonj

    Riek Machar Teny.
    This man is not care about those suffering most in his community and this is why he is joking by accepted peace agreement but later he brought another different agenda which was not sighed. I think Riek has already violated his own ink but GOSS must dealing with them properly by setting up good tactic to defeated them, crushed them, and make sure Riek Machar must be deny him.

    repondre message

    • 16 August 08:44, by Ayom Ayom

      I think Army General Mathew Pul Jang,is doing a great job

      repondre message

      • 16 August 14:27, by Rami Tot

        Ayom Ayom
        Call him as you like but his name is Puljang mean fool of Dinka search out it meaning

        repondre message

  • 16 August 15:09, by Kim Deng

    I have been seeing dead Jaang walking in Nuerland (Bentiu, Mayom, Ayod, and Nasir).

    http://upperniletimes.net/details.php?id=879

    repondre message

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Referenda in Scotland and South Sudan told a tale of two cities 2014-09-21 06:01:02 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman September 20, 2014 - This article comes against the backdrop of the referendum in Scotland and southern Sudan in the years 2014 and 2011, respectively, and the result was (...)

Undermining South Sudanese expertise’s is ironical! 2014-09-19 10:15:59 By Peter Gai Manyuon September 18, 2014 - The recent order from the Ministry of Labor and Public Service in the Republic of South Sudan that was issued on 16th of September 2014 is absolute (...)

Sudan - Colliding interests 2014-09-16 10:04:11 By Mohamed Elshabik September 15, 2014 - Sudan seems to be unconcerned by the current political crisis in the region. Amid a prognosis of full-scale war in South Sudan, unrest in Egypt, chaos in (...)


MORE








Latest Press Releases


Sudan Democracy First Group: Art as resistance – art as resilience 2014-09-09 12:34:15 Sudan Democracy First Group Art as Resistance – Art as Resilience September 8, 2014 - To mark the third anniversary of the resumption of civil war in Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan, (...)

Sudan: Those behind unlawful killings and torture of protesters must be brought to justice 2014-09-03 13:13:43 Amnesty International Sudan: Those behind unlawful killings and torture of protesters must be brought to justice The brutal suppression of protest in Sudan must end, and members of the security (...)

National Dialogue in Sudan: Past experiences and current challenges 2014-08-27 06:18:22 Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) Since independence, Sudan has undergone a number of national peace agreements, some of which were observed and honored for short periods, others which were (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.