South Sudanese army (SPLA) on Friday repulsed what officials described as a “heavy attack” in Jonglei state’s Ayod county, with the numbers of causalities involved still unknown.
- South Sudanese rebels pictured in Jonglei state on 31 January 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
Ayod county commissioner, Michael Buoth Malual accused the rebels of violating the cessation of hostilities agreement thus interfering with the on-going peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“At the moment as you know, peace negotiations are going on in Addis Ababa. Our position as government is that we are committed to peace. This has made us to be on a defensive position as rebels violated the peace talks,” Malual toldSudan Tribune by phone.
“The rebels should abide by the talks in Addis Ababa,” he added.
His Duk county counterpart, Mocnom Wuor said the rebels twice attacked Ayod on Friday, before they were repulsed by pro-government army.
“They attacked Ayod two times today [Friday] but they were pushed back by our army. What we don’t know now is the number of people killed or injured”, the commissioner said by phone from Panyagor.
In a separate incident, Wuor said, armed Duk youth intercepted a group of rebels who allegedly attempted to confiscate SPLA communication equipments at an army base in Kuach-deng.
“No physical engagement took place between the two groups as they rebels never crossed the border where youth of Duk had laid an ambush,” said Wour.
Both warring factions have traded accusations with each blaming the other of violating a ceasefire deal agreed upon in January and recommitted to in May.
ACTIVISTS DEMAND PEACE
A South Sudanese civil society body said it was disturbed over the recent resumption of heavy fighting between the two warring parties of South Sudan.
"The option of resolving the political difference militarily is dangerous for the lives and properties of our citizens. We urge South Sudan’s warring parties to concentrate on the peaceful settlement of the political crisis of December, 2013," said Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO) in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.