South Sudan: SPLM-IO accuses government of violating ceasefire
South Sudan’s leading rebel group has accused government forces of attacking its defensive positions, days after both parties signed the “final final” draft of a peace deal aimed at bringing an end to the country’s five-year civil war.
The SPLM-IO armed rebel group says government troops stormed at least two of its positions on Friday. This comes as the UN reveals one of its peacekeepers was shot and wounded by a government soldier in what was described as a “direct attack” by the head of UNMISS, David Shearer.
SPLM-IO accuses government troops
South Sudan President Salva Kiir signed the final draft of a peace agreement with SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Wednesday. However, the country’s main rebel group has already accused government forces of violating the terms of a permanent ceasefire included in the agreement.
Previous ceasefires and peace deals between the two parties have all failed – some within a matter of hours – but there has been a sense of cautious optimism surrounding recent negotiations, during which the ceasefire was largely respected by both sides.
However, SPLM-IO spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel has accused government troops of attacking two of the rebel group’s defensive positions on Friday morning. He said state forces stormed the rebel group’s position at Mundu in Lainya county in the early hours of the morning and that eight government troops were killed in the ensuing battle between government and rebel soldiers.
Another attack allegedly took place nearby, this time in Mangalatore where four government troops were killed.
Featured image: By Jason Patinkin (VOA) – http://www.voanews.com/a/government-soldiers-leave-juba-before-rebel-leaders-return/3286194.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56846864