Machar rebels accuse South Sudan government of violating ceasefire

Kenneth Kazibwe

Sudanese People’s Liberation Army In Opposition(SPLA-IO) rebels who are loyal to the country’s former vice president, Dr.Riek Machar have accused government forces of violating the ceasefire.

On Saturday, there was peace deal reached at in Kampala by both the various rebel factions and the South Sudan government led by President Salva Kiir to end fighting.

However, according to Col. Lam Paul Gabriel, the SPLA IO Deputy Military Spokesperson, government forces have since the peace agreement attacked their positions.

“While South Sudanese are supposed to be in an Independence Day spirit with hope for a genuine peace, the regime is busy attacking SPLA IO territories and planning to rearm their forces in all fronts by acquiring military logistics from their usual allies,” said Col.Lam in a statement.

“This morning over 200 regime’s soldiers went out of Morobo Town and attacked the SPLA IO base at Isebi in Lujulo Payam of Morobo County, Yei River State.”

Machar’s rebel group also accused Kiir’s government of acquiring new weapons which they said are meant continue with its military campaign despite the “ongoing peace process”.

“This is a blatant violation of the signed permanent ceasefire. The SPLA IO calls upon the CTSAMM and UNMISS to monitor this aggressive development aimed at derailing the ongoing peace process,” the rebel deputy military spokesperson said.

In December 2013, war broke out in Africa’s youngest nation after president Salva Kiir accused his then deputy Machar of attempting to overthrow him prompting the latter to flee.

He would later start the Sudanese People Liberation Movement -In Opposition (SPLM-IO) a rebel group that has since then fought the Kiir government leading to death of thousands of people whereas others have been displaced.

Since then, efforts to bring about total peace in South Sudan have failed after ceasefires being broken now and then by both sides.

On Saturday, South Sudan was offered a lifeline following talks at State House in Entebbe between both Kiir and Machar and overseen by Presidents Museveni and his Sudanese counterpart, Omar Al Bashir.

Machar was according to the new deal reinstated as the country’s first vice president, a position he held before the war broke out in 2013.

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