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 Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid