News / Africa

S. Sudan Opposition Accuses Government of Deadly Weekend Attack

An SPLA tank drives past the remains of a rebel soldier killed near Bor on January 26, 2014, days after a peace deal was signed. South Sudan opposition forces accused the government of fresh attacks at the weekend, including on the hometown in Unity state of former vice president Riek Machar. REUTERS/George Philipas
An SPLA tank drives past the remains of a rebel soldier killed near Bor on January 26, 2014, days after a peace deal was signed. South Sudan opposition forces accused the government of fresh attacks at the weekend, including on the hometown in Unity state of former vice president Riek Machar. REUTERS/George Philipas
TEXT SIZE - +
Lucy Poni
— South Sudanese opposition forces on Monday accused government troops of attacking the Unity state hometown of former vice president Riek Machar, who fled into hiding in December after President Salva Kiir accused him of triggering nearly six weeks of violence around the country.

Lul Ruai Koang, a spokesman for Machar’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army In Opposition, said government forces, together with rebels from Sudan, attacked Leer town over the weekend, and killed civilians as they tried to flee the fighting.

“On Saturday, a combined force comprised of units from Justice and Equality Movement and South Sudan Liberation Army militias advanced on Leer in the afternoon," Koang told VOA.

After opposition forces made what Koang called "a tactical withdrawal," the troops "entered Leer town and started burning down the... town and the surrounding villages," he said.

"And, not only that, they went as far as hunting down women and children and the elderly who had gone to hide in the nearby bushes and swampy areas, and they started killing them,” he added.

Koang said he believes Leer was attacked because it is the hometown of Machar, who Kiir has accused of trying to oust him in December, setting off weeks of violence that claimed thousands of lives and displaced more than three-quarters of a million people. 

“There is no strategic, operation or tactical importance attached to Leer in terms of military perspective," Koang said.

"It is a small town on the banks of the White Nile River. The only important thing is that it is the home of the vice president, and that’s what the government is capitalizing on," he said.

The anti-govenrment side in South Sudan's recent conflict, which erupted on Dec. 15 when fighting broke out in Juba, also alleged that government forces attacked their positions in the Doliep Hills, south of the Upper Nile state capital, Malakal, and in another part of Unity state at the weekend.

If confirmed, the attacks would violate a cessation of hostilities agreement signed nearly two weeks ago by the two sides. The agreement calls for fighting to halt immediately, for all foreign forces that were invited in to South Sudan to fight to be withdrawn, and for an end to attacks on women, children and the elderly.

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 Gen. Taban Deng Gai (R) to end more than five weeks of fighting.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 Gen. Taban Deng Gai (R) to end more than five weeks of fighting.
x
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 Gen. Taban Deng Gai (R) to end more than five weeks of fighting.
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 Gen. Taban Deng Gai (R) to end more than five weeks of fighting.
Koang accused the government of "intensifying the war" rather than ending the violence. "It is bringing in foreign fighters from Darfur, from Blue Nile, from Rwanda, from Congo and within a very short time we are going to have a regional war taking place in South Sudan,” he said.

Vice President James Wani Iga denied that the government had attacked opposition-held towns, saying, "We don’t intend to fight. We are for the agreement which was signed and this is actually what we are abiding with.”

A team from the regional body that brokered the cessation of hostilities agreement, IGAD, arrived in Juba on Sunday to begin setting up bases to monitor the peace deal signed in Addis Ababa on Jan. 23.

The head of the IGAD monitoring team, Ethiopian Major General Gebreegzabher Mebrahtu, was unable to confirm the opposition's claims of renewed fighting over the weekend.

Charlton Doki and Andrew Green contributed to this report from Juba.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: john three gabriel from: egypt
February 04, 2014 3:11 PM
what the government of south Sudan want is not good we are all looking for peace and they are fooling the whole wide world, of not accepting what they did they attack the SPLM/A in opposition and the so called vice president denied it. what kind of system is this? suppose rebel should deny things not the government


by: Anonymous
February 04, 2014 7:47 AM
Leer town havebeen burn down and all primary school,EMMA secondary,MSF-HOLAND building,churches are destroy while many life of citizens are lost by gvt side,therefore i call upon regional communities and humanitrian aids agency to over see what is doing by Salva kiir and Yueri Moseveni gvt.

In Response

by: Maguangdit from: Cam
February 04, 2014 1:27 PM
Keep crying Nyigateen! This is a war you imposed on your own when nobody needs war in South Sudan. South Sudan is not only for Nuer and Dinka and you have to accept this reality. Some stupid Nuer like Riak Machar and his stupid militia will never be allowed to destroy South Sudan. You better reap what you sow now. Just enjoy it; it is cool!

In Response

by: Makuel Madol Betiem from: Juba-South Sudan.
February 04, 2014 12:30 PM
The destructions by Kiir's troops doesn't matters alots. What matter is the resignation of the mr. President Salva Kiir where by all South Sudanese will rebuild the destroyed towns without fear of re-destruction.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid