IGAD condemns South Sudan rebels for attacking government positions  

By Godfrey Olukya
Posted on Monday, 21 July 2014 11:07

IGAD said the attacks on government positions in Nasir by rebels led by Riek Machar of SPLM/A–In Opposition on Sunday were ‘unfortunate.’

The IGAD special envoys to the South Sudan peace process are in Juba to consult with the government and other stakeholders on how to reconvene peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in the next few days.

The IGAD special envoys strongly condemn this attack in Nasir by forces of the SPLM/A–In Opposition

IGAD said reports by its joint technical committee in Juba and the monitoring and verification team in Nasir indicated that rebels crossed the Sobat River from the east.

“It is regrettable that this incident has come at a time when the mediation team just concluded consultations with the leadership of the SPLM/A–In Opposition in Addis Ababa, on how to operationalise the signed agreements and move the peace process forward,” the statement said.

“The IGAD special envoys strongly condemn this attack in Nasir by forces of the SPLM/A–In Opposition, which is in blatant violation of cessation of hostilities (COH) agreement, signed between the government of the Republic of South Sudan and the SPLM/A–In Opposition on 23rd January 2014.

“This has also happened after 10th June, 2014 IGAD summit, in which the two principals pledged to ‘end the war now’ and establish a transitional government within 60 days.”

While the casualties of the attack are yet to be assessed, the mediation team said it was saddened by the continued loss of lives among vulnerable groups like women and children.

IGAD special envoys have appealed to the parties to remain committed to the peace agreements and to exercise restraint.

South Sudan has been characterised by violence since last December, after President Salva Kiir sacked vice-president Machar, accusing him of attempting to overthrow his regime.

The seven-month-old conflict in South Sudan has already caused the deaths of several thousands and displaced 1.3 million people, with aid agencies warning of a massive famine.

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