Tags: south sudan | ceasefire | africa | fighting

Fighting Erupts in Two South Sudan States Days After Latest Ceasefire

Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 01:17 PM

Rebels in South Sudan attacked towns in two states on Tuesday, the army said, barely a week after signing another ceasefire agreement with the government that was meant to end 15 months of conflict.

Thousands of people have been killed and more than a million have fled their homes since fighting erupted in the world's newest nation in December 2013, triggered by a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar.

Philip Aguer, spokesman for South Sudan's army, the SPLA, said the attacks had occurred in the capital of oil-producing Unity state Bentiu and in Upper Nile State, both in the north of the country.

"A ground attack was launched by the rebels in Upper Nile today on SPLA positions in Obudo County using a big force supported by heavy machine guns," Aguer told Reuters.

"Another area of violation by the rebels was in Unity state. The rebels shelled SPLA force positions in Bentiu north of the town this morning."

He gave no details of casualties and said the SPLA had repulsed the rebels and captured two vehicles and heavy machine guns. Aguer added that fighting was still raging in Upper Nile.

The rebels were not immediately reachable for comment.

Earlier this month, Kiir and Machar signed the latest ceasefire agreement aimed at pushing them closer to a final deal to end the conflict that has hurt the oil-producing state.

A ceasefire signed in January 2014 has been broken frequently and peace talks have often faltered, frustrating Western backers of South Sudan.

The European Union and the United States have imposed sanctions on commanders on both sides for violating the ceasefire.

The civil war has created a humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, which declared independence from Sudan in 2011, and has exacerbated ethnic tensions between Kiir's Dinka people and Machar's Nuer.

The United Nations said on Monday donors had pledged more than $500 million in aid out of $1.8 billion it has appealed for to fund the emergency response to South Sudan this year.

Previous outbreaks of fighting have damaged Unity State oil fields, cutting output, which stands at about 169,000 barrels per day for the whole country, down from 245,000 barrels per day in December 2013.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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Rebels in South Sudan attacked towns in two states on Tuesday, the army said, barely a week after signing another ceasefire agreement with the government that was meant to end 15 months of conflict.
south sudan, ceasefire, africa, fighting
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2015-17-10
Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 01:17 PM
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