Government troops attack rebel positions in Upper Nile State

Pagak/Addis Ababa, August 29, 2015 (SSNA) – South Sudan’s Government troops on Friday launched surprise attacks on rebel outposts in Upper Nile and Unity States, South Sudan’s armed opposition said.

Rebels condemned the attacks, saying Juba-backed forces have been shelling their bases near Malakal, the capital of the oil-rich Upper Nile State.

“SPLM/SPLA condemns in the strongest possible terms the continued military offensive by forces of the regime in Juba against bases of SPLM/SPLA in Unity and Upper Nile states. Government forces on Friday shelled our bases in the west bank of the River Nile near Malakal, Upper Nile state’s capital,” rebel Spokesman James Gatdet Dak said in a statement obtained by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA).

Gatdet said government military ferries and boats from Unity State to Upper Nile State carrying soldiers also shelled their locations in Unity State, adding that the armed opposition expects Juba to launch full scale offensive against the SPLA-IO’s positions.

“Three ferries and six boats carrying troops and mounted with heavy weaponry have been shelling our positions along the River in Unity state as they proceed to Malakal. We suspect that their plan is to launch a full scale offensive against our bases around Malakal,” Gatdet disclosed.

“This is a serious violation of the terms of the peace Agreement signed on 17th and 26th August 2015 by the principals of the two warring parties and declaration of Permanent Ceasefire which shall come into effect at midnight of 29th August 2015,” he added.

The rebel Spokesman calls on the international community to exert pressure on Kiir’s regime to end the war and “abide by the declared ceasefire.”

South Sudan’s warring factions have accepted the IGAD-Plus brokered power-sharing deal. Rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar signed the pact on the 17th of August and South Sudanese president Salva kiir signed the deal this Wednesday.

However, it is not clear if the rival sides will implement the internationally-backed deal.

The agreement calls for the establishment of a coalition government within 90 days.

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