Stop vi­o­lat­ing truce, S. Su­dan ri­vals told

The Gulf Today - - MIDDLE EAST -

JUBA: The heads of the United Na­tions (UN) and African Union (AU) are warn­ing South Su­dan’s war­ring sides to im­me­di­ately stop vi­o­lat­ing a cease-ire or face “con­se­quences.”

The joint state­ment by An­to­nio Guter­res and Moussa Faki Ma­hamat comes af­ter South Su­dan’s govern­ment and armed op­po­si­tion traded mul­ti­ple ac­cu­sa­tions of at­tacks since the cea­seire came into ef­fect on Dec.24.

The new state­ment, not­ing “ap­palling suf­fer­ing,” also calls on all sides to pro­tect civil­ians and al­low hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­cess to a na­tion where mil­lions are going hun­gry.

South Su­dan’s armed op­po­si­tion says four govern­ment sol­diers were killed in new clashes just out­side the cap­i­tal, Juba, last week.

The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity has shown grow­ing signs of im­pa­tience with both sides as civil war in the world’s youngest na­tion en­ters its ifth year with un­told tens of thou­sands killed.

Further peace talks me­di­ated by a re­gional bloc are ex­pected in early Fe­bru­ary in neigh­bor­ing Ethiopia.

South Su­dan’s govern­ment ac­cuses former mil­i­tary chief of staff Paul Ma­long of or­der­ing op­po­si­tion ighters to at­tack govern­ment po­si­tions across the coun­try.

Govern­ment spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny on Mon­day pointed to au­dio tapes leaked on so­cial me­dia, al­leg­ing that Ma­long was heard giv­ing or­ders for ight­ing that in­cluded clashes out­side the cap­i­tal, Juba, last week that vi­o­lated a cease-ire.

The tapes could not be in­de­pen­dently veri­ied. Ma­long’s wife, Lucy Ayak Malek, de­nies it was her hus­band speak­ing.

Mean­while, the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) said on Mon­day that three peo­ple in South Su­dan have died of a sus­pected vi­ral haem­or­rhagic fever and 60 of their con­tacts are be­ing mon­i­tored for any in­fec­tion.

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