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Fresh fighting erupts between South Sudan rival forces

South Sudan's army soldiers drive in a truck on the frontline in Panakuach, Unity state April 24, 2012. (Reuters Photo)

April 19, 2018 (RUBKONA) – Fresh fighting erupted between South Sudan’s two main rival forces, with each side accusing the other of violating the ceasefire accord.

In a statement issued on Friday, the deputy military spokesperson for the armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO), Lam Paul Gabriel accused the Juba regime’s forces of allegedly carrying out offensives against their troops.

"The regime’s forces are on the offensive against the SPLA IO in Wunulyet- near Juba and Gezira in Rubkona county. Details will follow later as fighting is still ongoing" he said.

The spokesperson for government army, Brigadier Lul Ruai Koang admitted on Thursday that their forces engaged in heavy fighting with rebels in Gezira town.

The latest fighting, he said, violates the ceasefire accord both sides had signed.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced in South Sudan’s worst ever violence since its independence in July 2011.

Early this week, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said the third round of peace talks, initially scheduled for April 26-30 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has now been postponed until next month.