Addis Ababa, March 3, 2014 (SSNA) — South Sudan’s rebels have on Tuesday accused Ugandan air force of carrying out aerial bombardments in Jonglei State.
In a press statement extended to the South Sudan News Agency, the head of the SPLM/A Delegation-in opposition to the Peace Talks in Ethiopia, General Taban Deng Gai, said that Juba and Kampala began air campaigns against civilians on the 26th of February 2014 using dangerous weapons.
“On February 26, they [UPDF & SPLA] bombed Pamai cattle camp and on the 2nd and 3rd of March, they bombed Wech-Kol Payam all in Uror County-Jonglei State killing women, children, elderly, and livestock using cluster bombs”, Gai said in the statement.
“The exact number of casualties is yet to be established and more information will follow”, He continues.
Gai declares that the latest air campaign against civilians in Jonglei State violates the Ceasefire signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and warns that the peace talks could not go as planned. Gai also calls on the International Community to take action against Uganda, and asks the United Nations to investigate the use of banned weapons.
“SPLM/SPLA [in opposition] calls on IGAD, the AU, the Troika countries, EU and UN to exert more pressure on Uganda to immediately cease all forms of indiscriminate aerial bombardments and to withdraw its forces from all territories of South Sudan. We call upon the United Nations to investigate the use of prohibited weapons such as cluster bombs by the Government of South Sudan and the Uganda Air Force”, Gai said.
“This continuous violation of the CoH may jeopardise the Peace Process that is already underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia”, he added.
Last month, the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) found remnants of cluster bombs in Jonglei, prompting the United Nations to launch an investigation.
Regional observers have on many occasions cautioned that the continuous involvement of Uganda’s military in the conflict could cause a regional war. But Uganda claims it has interests in the young nation’s internal affairs and that its fight alongside South Sudan government’s troops against rebels is justified.