News / Africa

South Sudan Fighting Picks Up as 'Month of Tranquility' Ends

Rebel fighters hold up their rifles as they walk in front of a bushfire in a rebel controlled territory in Upper Nile State, South Sudan, Feb. 13, 2014.
Rebel fighters hold up their rifles as they walk in front of a bushfire in a rebel controlled territory in Upper Nile State, South Sudan, Feb. 13, 2014.
Lucy Poni
Days after the end of a "month of tranquility" in South Sudan, army officials say there has been fighting in Upper Nile and Unity states, two of the hotspots in the nearly six-month-old conflict in the young country.

Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) spokesman, Colonel Philip Aguer, told South Sudan in Focus that fighting has been going on since the weekend in Upper Nile, and blamed the opposition for the new unrest.

“The rebels of Riek Machar violated the ceasefire in Nassir,"  a small town in Upper Nile state on the northern bank of the Sobat River, Aguer said.

"They have been shelling Nassir on the 31st, on the 1st and on the 2nd. They also shelled Gelaciel in Barliet County, Upper Nile, using artilleries and this has led to the wounding of many soldiers and the death of one soldier in Nassir,” he said.

Opposition military spokesperson Lul Ruai Koang confirmed the fresh fighting, but blamed government forces for starting it.

"They are the ones who have been shelling our positions. You know they have been attempting to go beyond Nassir to surrounding villages. And whenever they want to make that, they would do the shelling first to give the forces that are trying to get out of Nassir cover, so they did the same today," Koang said.

Aguer and Koang also said there has been righting in Unity state. Unity and Upper Nile produce South Sudan's oil, the backbone of the country's economy.

The fresh fighting began as a month-long truce, aimed at allowing aid agencies to get food and relief supplies to the hundreds of thousands of people who have fled their homes since fighting started nearly six months ago, and to allow farmers to plant crops and cattle herders to tend to their livestock, drew to an end.

United Nations humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, said the so-called "month of tranquility" resulted in the most peaceful month so far this year in South Sudan.
  Aguer said a team of monitors from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) visited Nassir Tuesday on a fact-finding mission. IGAD is supposed to be providing several teams of ceasefire monitors, but officials say they have not all been deployed because they are waiting for the arrival of regional troops to protect them.
 
Both sides have acknowledged that fighting has continued almost unabated since President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Machar signed a ceasefire agreement last month.
Philip Aleu contributed to this report from Juba.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: gatwich from: khartoum
June 04, 2014 5:35 AM
whatever said by juba government are always not in a place! those lies created by by phillip Aguer the creative man and ever lying human being .


by: Lisa from: Tx
June 03, 2014 11:32 PM
Mr Philip you did put your foot in your mouth. Shelling, artilleries etc it is coming from your government remember that most of the areas in upper Nile and unity state have been in some peace. Now your claiming that opposition is fighting your forces. Your trying to detract the peace process ,and then blem Dr riek. Most of ssa pretend to fired on thinking that IGAD will buy that, or are you reporting to keep your job.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid