Riek Machar forces warns South Sudan to stop attacking its territory - Whisper Eye

Riek Machar forces warns South Sudan to stop attacking its territory

South Sudan main armed opposition (SPLM-IO) accused a holdout opposition group and the government army of attacking its positions in Yei River and Wau states raising fears of the resumption of hostilities after the signing of the revitalized agreement on 12 September.

During the last three weeks, the parties ceased hostilities in the country after sporadic skirmishes here and there denounced by the South Sudanese leaders who described it as isolated incidents.

However, SPLM-IO Deputy Spokesperson Lam Paul Gabriel said in a statement issued Monday the rebel fighters loyal to Gen Thomas Cirilo Swaka killed 17 civilians during two attacks on their positions in Minyori and Logo of Yei River State.

“Yesterday the 14/10/2018 the forces of NAS attacked the SPLA IO position in Minyori, Yei River State killing five civilians and injuring several others leading to the displacement of many civilians into Yei town and further into the bushes for safety. They also attacked our base in Logo killing 12 worshippers,” Gabriel said.

“This is a direct declaration of war by Gen. Thomas Cirilo against the signed R-ARCSS since he refused to sign it,” he stressed.

During a meeting in Texas on 23 September, the National Salvation Front (NAS) leader said they are not committed to the ceasefire in South Sudan even if their group is a signatory to the security arrangements.

“We cannot implement an agreement in isolation because there are eight protocols we cannot implement part and reject the others part. Since we are not part of many protocols we are not going to be part of the security arrangements agreement,” he said.

The ceasefire monitoring body didn’t yet confirm the attacks but if it is true similar attack can represent a serious challenge to the peace implementation process.

The SPLM-IO spokesperson, also, said the government forces based in Mboro, Wau state has been on constant offensive against the SPLA-IO positions in Ngisa, Tado, and Ngoku from 3 October to yesterday the 14 October “causing unwanted lost of lives both civilians and military besides further displacement of civilians”.

He further accused the government troops of abducting Col. John Andrea Kangandi Known as (John Kofi) with his wife.

“These attacks have been premeditated and planned by commanders of the regime in Juba to widened their territory and deny any establishment of cantonment sites in the area,” he asserted.

In line with the security arrangements, the South Sudanese parties have to disengage and separate their forces when they are in close proximity within thirty days of the signing of the revitalized agreement.

Also, the assembly and cantonment operations should take place in the same period to enable registration of personnel, weapons and equipment accountability, screening, re-organization and/or disarmament and demobilization.

In a related development, Stephen Par Kuol, Chairman of SPLM-IO National Committee for Foreign Relations, released a statement on Sunday denouncing the failure of South Sudanese government to enforce the revitalized pact.

Kuol pointed to the continued attacks on their positions in Central Equatoria, Western Bahr el-Ghazal and Unity, Juba refusal to release the prisoners of war and political detainees and the non-ratification of the revitalized peace agreement.

“Once again, the SPLM/A (IO) leadership is urgently calling upon the IGAD, AU. UN, TROIKA and the guarantors of R-ARCSS to deliver on the commitment they made on the margins of the 73rd UN General Assembly,” he said.

The SPLM-IO official further quoted a statement by United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale before the UN General Assembly saying that his country is a partner with the South Sudanese people and the region for a sustainable peace in South Sudan and strongly encourage member states of the IGAD and the African Union to hold the parties of the 12 September accountable to honouring their commitment

An IGAD official said last weekend that the IGAD prepares for a meeting with the South Sudanese parties to discuss the implementation of the agreement next week.