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Fresh clashes erupt in South Sudan despite ceasefire deal





File photo shows South Sudan’s soldiers in the border state of Unity.





South Sudanese government forces have clashed with rebels in several areas across the country, only two days after both sides agreed to a ceasefire.

Fresh fighting erupted in the oil-rich north and in a number of other regions just 48 hours after President Salva Kiir and the rebel leader, Riek Machar, signed a ceasefire deal in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Both sides have accused each other of breaching the new ceasefire deal.

A military spokesman for the rebels blamed government troops for launching coordinated attacks in the states of Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile.

Lul Ruai Koang said, “The government is entirely responsible for these unnecessary attacks motivated by its desires and attempts to recapture oil fields under our control.”

Meanwhile, the South Sudanese army said it repelled an attack that was started by the rebels.

South Sudan plunged into violence in December 2013, when fighting erupted between troops loyal to the president and defectors led by Machar around the capital, Juba.

The conflict soon turned into an all-out war between the army and defectors, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension that pitted the president’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.

On November 8, East Africa’s regional bloc, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), warned both sides that another violation of the ceasefire would entail sanctions. The IGAD has given the warring sides 15 days to finalize a transitional power-sharing accord.

Previous ceasefire agreements have all been broken and efforts to form a unity government have so far failed.

GMA/HSN/SS

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