South Sudan: Rebels Accuse Army of Violating Ceasefire

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Addis Ababa — The rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A In Opposition) have accused the South Sudanese army of violating the cessation of hostilities agreement, less than 24 hours after its signing.

South Sudan’s leader of the government’s delegation Nhial Deng Nhial (L) exchanges a signed ceasefire agreement with the head of the rebel delegation Taban Deng Gai (R) in Addis Ababa, January 23, 2014. ( Photo Reuters/Birahnu Sebsibe)

The two sides agreed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa on Thursday to stop all the military operations against each other.

The rebels led by the former vice-president said their positions have been attacked in the last few hours in Unity and Upper Nile states by the forces loyal to president Salva Kiir Mayardit.

Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, said the pro-Kiir forces of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) have moved out of Bentiu, the state capital of Unity, and attacked the pro-democracy forces in areas of DanDok, about 50kms south of Bentiu town.

“The pro-Kiir forces have just violated the recently signed cessation of hostilities agreement in just less than ten hours after the signing. This clearly indicates the lack of seriousness on the part of the government to respect the agreement,” he said; adding that the rebels had the right for self-defence.

Dak further claimed that SPLA forces have also attacked a number of rebels-held areas on Friday in Upper Nile state.

The mediator on Thursday announced that a Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM) will be formed to observe the truce.

IGAD chief mediator, Seyoum Mesfin, said that talks will stop from the 24th January to 7th of February in order to set up the various mechanisms need to implement the signed deals such a joint technical committee and MVM.

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