S. Sudan Government Accused of Fresh Attacks on Civilians

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South Sudanese rebels have accused President Salva Kiir’s government of carrying out fresh air and ground attacks against civilians.

Opposition spokesman, Colonel William Gatjiath Deng, claimed in a press statement that the government carried out air attacks on Monday morning in Mundari, Western Equatoria state.

“It was at 9:00 AM, yesterday [Monday] when government troops launched an aerial bombardment on civilian at Munduri County in Western Equatoria state. In the same day, they send military convoy from Juba to Munduri where they overnight at Jumbo and they began to shell on civilians, burned down the villages around Jumbo Payam,” William says in the statement.

 

Targets loyal to rebel Riek Machar

It’s not the first time Kiir’s government has been accused of targeting civilians, suspected to be loyal to former vice president – and current rebel leader – Riek Machar.

In July, the government was accused by rights groups of committing war crimes in rebel-held parts of the country. This came shortly after a UN ‘protection-of-civilians’ site was attacked, killing one internally displaced person (IDP) and injuring six others.

 

Ongoing violence in South Sudan

Clashes between the rival groups have barely stopped, despite the signing of a peace deal on August 26. Hopes for lasting peace in the new country were quickly dashed, after a renewed series of conflicts broke out in September.

Terms of a lasting ceasefire have yet to be agreed, while each party accuses the other of initiating fresh conflicts and extending violence in the country. Last week fighting resumed in the Unity state, where the government and rebels clash over the control of the Leer and Koch counties. Once again, both sides accuse the other of initiating the renewed clash.

Tens of thousands of people are estimated to have died since war broke out in December 2013, while millions have been displaced internally, or to neighbours Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.

 

Featured image:

Salva Kiir, the president of southern Sudan – Flickr – Al Jazeera English” by Al Jazeera EnglishSalva Kiir, the president of southern Sudan. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.