Cover Story

Forces trade accusations for ceasefire violation

By Jale Richard

The permanent ceasefire agreement signed by President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar has been broken hours after it came into effect.

The permanent ceasefire signed Wednesday last week was highly welcomed by the international community and the region to stop the fighting in South Sudan.

President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar on June 28 separately ordered for respect of the permanent ceasefire they agreed to in Khartoum.

However, on Saturday the government and opposition traded accusations for violating the pact, which only came into force on Saturday.

The spokesperson of the government force, Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang told Bloomberg that at least 15 civilians were killed in an incident on Saturday.

“Rebels attacked government positions in Southern Liech and Northern Liech States in the Greater Upper Nile region between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Saturday, army spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said by phone from the capital, Juba. A separate early morning attack at a cattle camp in Maban in Northern Upper Nile resulted in 15 civilians being killed while 22 others were wounded and livestock stolen, Koang said,” the Bloomberg reported.

Rebel spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel blamed government forces for attacking their positions in Wau.

This morning (Saturday) at about 7:00AM, the regime’s forces in coordination with JEM militias launched a heavy joint attack against the SPLA IO position in Mboro, Wau. The aggressors came from Wau and Aweil on 14 Land cruisers, 3 Woral trucks and 4 APCs,” he posted on his facebook wall on Saturday.

“This happened just hours after the ceasefire takes effect. The fight is still ongoing as I write,” he added.

Yesterday, he claimed that their base in Kajo-Keji was also attacked by government forces.

Several efforts by Juba Monitor to get the SPLA spokesperson for comments on the Kajo-Keji claim were not successful by press time.

On June 28, President Kiir issued a decree directing the army to abide by the ceasefire from June 30, an order reciprocated by Machar.


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