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US warns S. Sudan warring parties over renewed hostilities

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September 1, 2015 (WASHINGTON/JUBA) - The United States has condemned the recent fighting in parts of South Sudan’s Jonglei and Upper Nile states, warning that any of the parties violating the recently signed peace agreement would “face consequences”.

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South Sudanese soldiers patrol the streets of Unity state capital Bentiu on 12 January 2014 (Photo: Simon Maina/AFP)

Both the government and the armed opposition faction have traded accusations of ceasefire violations, days after declaring a permanent ceasefire after last week’s signing of the peace accord.

Mark Toner, the deputy spokesperson for the US Department of State, said Monday that the recent ceasefire declarations by the government of South Sudan and the opposition, ordering all forces to cease military operations on 29 August, were welcomed as a step toward implementation of the agreement that now binds South Sudan’s two warring parties.

“However, recent fighting by forces on both sides runs contrary to those orders and the terms of the peace agreement,” said Toner.

“We call on all parties to immediately cease provocative action and hostile engagement, and to further develop security arrangements at the planned security workshop starting September 5,” he stressed.

The US government, Toner further said, would work with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) partners to pursue, as needed, sanctions as authorised by UNSC resolution 2206. He, however, added that Washington would continue to stand with those who choose peace and are committed to faithful implementation of the agreement.

TRADING ACCUSATIONS

The South Sudanese military spokesman, Colonel Philip Aguer, told reporters on Monday that government forces were attacked by the armed opposition fighters in parts of Unity and Upper Nile states.

But the newly-appointed military spokesperson for the rebels, Col. William Gatjiath Deng, said the opposition forces came under separate attacks from government forces in Upper Nile and Unity states.

“The government troops attacked our forces in Tonga county [Upper Nile state] this late afternoon [Monday]. One of the government’s barges has been burned by our forces and the fighting is still going on now,” Deng said in a statement on Monday.

Deng accused the army of carrying out military offensives, despite a peace deal.

“We want to inform the people of South Sudan that government is sabotaging the implementation of the peace deal,” he stressed.

The rebel spokesperson called on the IGAD-Plus, African Union and the international community to investigate the continued violation of the ceasefire by government forces.

(ST)

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  • 2 September 2015 12:24, by Eastern

    Please give UNMISS the required teeth to monitor the ceasefire ordered by the waring parties. After the mandate of UNMISS is modified to take into account monitoring ceasefire and reigning in errant parties to the signed peace including dealing with other arm-bearing groups outside the signed deal, then South Sudan will then experience a semblance of peace.

    repondre message

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