Home | News    Tuesday 14 October 2014

S. Sudan government reports rebel attacks to IGAD

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October 13, 2014 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese army (SPLA) said on Monday that last week’s attacks allegedly by rebel forces have been reported to the regional bloc mediating peace talks between the warring parties.

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Soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) sit on a pick up truck during a patrol in Upper Nile state capital Malakal on 21 January 2014 (Photo: AFP/Harrison Ngethi)

SPLA spokesman Col. Philip Aguer told reporters that the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) had been informed of the separate attacks on government position, saying the incidents clearly constituted a violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement signed by both sides in January and recommitted to in May.

International monitors have accused both sides of violating the terms of the shaky agreement, although government and rebel forces have vehemently denied the accusations.

“These violations of course have been reported to the IGAD monitoring team that is here in Juba,” said Aguer.

“We have to inform the IGAD because IGAD and other international monitors blindly condemn the two parties in the conflict in South Sudan due to ignorance about the realities of who is attacking who,” he added.

The fighting erupted in two locations of Doleib Hills, south of Upper Nile state capital Malakal, and Al-caap-al-nil or Zinc.

The attacks came less a week after IGAD-led peace talks aimed at ending the political crisis were adjourned in Ethiopia.

Aguer said troops belonging to the rebel faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM in Opposition) under the leadership of the former vice-president Riek Machar launched twin raids at separate locations early last Friday.

However, the armed opposition has disputed the government’s version of events, saying its forces were responding to continuous attacks and heavy artillery shelling on their defensive positions, including relief centres.

According to reports, the streets remained deserted, while essential services in town, including restaurants, fuel stations and humanitarian agencies remained closed or on standby throughout the day.

In a statement on Friday, opposition spokesman Brig Lul Ruai Koang claimed that rebel forces retaliated by overrunning the areas and pushing back government’s troops who retreated towards the state capital.

He further claimed that opposition forces had inflicted heavy losses on government troops, capturing various military equipment and killing two Ugandan tank drivers, who were fighting alongside government forces.

Rebels also alleged the Ugandan army (UPDF) had deployed jet fighters and helicopter gunships on Saturday to carry out bombardments against their positions as well as airlifted additional troops to Malakal.

The opposition group says it plans to publicly release the identities and images of the deceased tank drivers, believed to be one man and one woman, to back its claims.

Local officials and independent sources told Sudan Tribune on Friday that heavy gunfire and explosions were also heard around Malakal town, forcing shops to close and residents to stay indoors.

The remote areas of Upper Nile, Jonglei and Unity states where fighting has been particularly fierce do not have reliable communications networks and Sudan Tribune was unable to independently verify the claims.

IGAD mediators have condemned the latest outbreak of violence, but fell short of laying the blame at one particular side while an investigation is pending.

Aguer said rebels forces had been repulsed from the two areas and government troops are in full control of the area.

Government and rebel forces have been engaged in a protracted armed struggle since mid-December last year when an internal rift within the country’s ruling party (SPLM) erupted in violence.

The conflict has killed thousands and displaced more than 1.5 million people.

(ST)

- South Sudanese rebels kill Ugandan soldiers in Upper Nile: spokesperson
- Fresh fighting resumes between S. Sudan’s rival forces

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  • 14 October 2014 07:23, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Yes, that’s true.

    repondre message

    • 14 October 2014 12:57, by Joseph Canada

      No thats not true. The Ugandan Soldiers are not there for IGAD. They are there to fight and kill south Sudanese. They there for Kiir, and they will not be spared, be it a female of a dog shit cleaner.

      repondre message

      • 14 October 2014 17:42, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

        Are you stupid @Canada, gov’t didn’t involved UPDF force in to Upper Nile zone of conflicts i.e. #Malakal and #Bentiu, they are there in Juba not in everywhere in South Sudan.

        repondre message

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