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Saturday, 29 August 2015

South Sudan’s accuses rebels of violating cease-fire

South Sudanese government on Saturday accused the rebels of violating a cease-fire declared by rebel leader Riek Machar late Friday and attacking the capital city of the oil-producing Upper Nile State.
“The rebels on Friday attacked our positions in Malakal, but we have repulsed them. On Saturday they attacked the city again,” Michael Makuei, government spokesman, told Xinhua over phone from Juba Saturday.
“This is a violation of the cease-fire stipulated in the peace deal, and we have informed the truce monitoring committee of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development in Africa (IGAD) to record it,” added Makuei.
Machar declared in a statement late Friday a permanent cease-fire and ordered all his forces to fully commit to it as of Saturday.
On Thursday, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit also declared that a permanent cease-fire with the rebels would become effective as of Saturday, ordering the army to stop military activities countrywide against armed forces loyal to Machar.
Last week, Machar signed an IGAD-proposed peace deal with the secretary general of the ruling party, Pagan Amum, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, while President Kiir signed the deal in Juba on Wednesday, but warned that it could collapse.
IGAD’s peace document granted the current government a majority in the legislature, presidency and 53 percent of ministerial portfolios.
It further proposed for the rebels a new position of first vice president and 33 percent of ministerial portfolios, while the remaining 14 percent was allotted to other opposition groups.
However, with regard to the major war-affected areas of the Greater Upper Nile region — Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity States — the deal suggested that 53 percent of the area go to the rebels and 33 to the current government.
Juba rejected the plan in the three areas as they are the major oil-producing states in South Sudan.
South Sudan plunged into violence in December 2013 when fighting erupted between troops loyal to President Kiir and defectors led by his former deputy Machar.
The conflict soon turned into an all-out war, with the violence taking on an ethnic dimension. The clashes killed thousands of South Sudanese and forced around 1.9 million to flee their homes.

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