National
S.Sudan ceasefire broken as rebels and army battle
Publish Date: May 12, 2014
S.Sudan ceasefire broken as rebels and army battle
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir delivers a speech upon returning in Juba on May 11, 2014, a day after signing a peace deal with rebels in Addis Ababa.AFP/PHOTO
  • mail
  • img
newvision


South Sudanese rebels and government troops battled on Monday, breaking a fresh ceasefire deal and dashing hopes to a swift end to five months of brutal civil war.


Fighting raged in the oil-producing state of Upper Nile, Defence Minister Kuol Manyang told AFP, adding that government troops had been ordered "not to go and attack, but only to fight in self defence."

Since President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar signed a deal Friday to halt fighting, both sides have accused each other of launching ground attacks and artillery barrages against each other.

A South Sudanese man hold a placard reading "No to War, Yes to Elections!" and a South Sudan flag as people receive South Sudanese President upon returning in Juba on May 11, 2014, a day after signing a peace deal. AFP/PHOTO

Machar was "not in control of his forces" and heavily armed militia troops known as the White Army -- who smear themselves in wood ash to ward off mosquitoes and as war-paint -- had attacked government troops, Manyang said.

"These are irregular forces, the White Army is armed civilians, and they do not know about the cessation of hostilities agreement that was signed," he added.

"They are the ones that attacked, because they think the war is still going on."

Army spokesman Philip Aguer said that monitors from regional bloc IGAD were being sent to the flashpoint town of Bentiu, capital of the northern oil-producing Unity state, which has swapped hands repeatedly in the conflict.

Kiir has insisted he wanted peace, telling crowds in Juba on Sunday that "we have ordered our forces not to lift a foot from where they are to attack rebels".

The two sides had agreed to a ceasefire in January, but that deal quickly fell apart and unleashed a new round of fierce fighting.

Observers have said both side will face challenges in implementing a truce, with the rebels made up of a loose coalition of army defectors and ethnic rebels.

Both sides accuse the other of using mercenaries and rebel forces from neighbouring Sudan, while on the government side -- backed by Ugandan troops -- the command structure under Kiir is also seen as weak.

The war in the world's youngest nation has claimed thousands -- and possibly tens of thousands -- of lives, with more than 1.2 million people forced to flee their homes. AFP




 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Gov’t urged to re-focus HIV campaign in fishing communities
ACCORDING to reports from both the Uganda AIDS Commission and the health ministry, HIV prevalence in fishing communities ranges from 25% to 50%. It is higher among women compared to the men...
Resettling of Bududa families starts
GOVERNMENT will this week start resettling 1150 families in areas at high risk of landslides and floods from the Mount Elgon region as part of its efforts to find a permanent solution...
Judge blasts parliament over gender insensitive laws
HIGH Court Judge David Batema has blasted parliament for passing what he called insensitive laws when it comes to women issues...
Kenya grieves one year after Westgate mall attack
Thousands of mourners gathered in Kenya''s capital on Sunday for emotional commemorations marking a year since Somali Islamist gunmen attacked Nairobi''s Westgate shopping mall and massacred at least 67 people....
Gen. Wamala honoured in US
The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Katumba Wamala, has been inducted on the prestigious Hall of Fame of the United States Army War College, making history in the region....
Mediators urge end to fighting in S. Sudan
East African mediators seeking to broker peace in South Sudan on Saturday denounced ongoing "senseless fighting" between rival sides in a conflict that has ravaged the new country for the past nine months....
Should bride price be made optional?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter