South Sudan’s rebels accuse government troops of fresh attack; warn of a ‘decisive response’

Pagak/Addis Ababa, November 23, 2015 (SSNA) — The military command of armed opposition led by Former South Sudanese Vice president Dr. Riek Machar said government soldiers have attacked its positions in Eastern Equatoria State, saying Juba has on many occasions violated the power-sharing deal signed in August by the rival factions.

Rebels said Kiir must abide by the recently signed compromise peace agreement or they will respond decisively, warning that they are ‘running out of patience’.

In a statement released on Monday by rebel military command through the office of the SPLA-IO Spokesperson Col. William Gatjiath Deng, the SPLA-IO said Salva kiir’s has violated the peace agreement by continuously attacking its forces in Eastern Equatoria and other parts of the country and that government troops loot civilian properties and burned down houses.

“Yesterday [Sunday], government forces attacked our position around Pageri at a place called Opari area in Eastern Eguatoria. The SPLA/Juba faction is also planning to attack our forces in Northern Upper Nile,” the SPLA-IO military command says in the statement.

“Government forces are fond of looting civilian properties in the area, attacking them, and burning down their houses. These brutal acts from the government need to be stopped. This demonstrates that the government has declared full scale of war against SPLA/IO to violate the recent peace accord,” the statement added.

Johnson Wal Hoth, a provocative high ranking officer with the SPLA-IO demands that the international acts against what he called “puppet of Kampala,” adding dealing with Salva kiir is like dealing with a Mafia boss who runs a “Mafia business.”

“The SPLA-IO doesn’t understand why IGAD-Plus, African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) still believe in somebody who is being managed in Kampala. The world should know that dealing with puppet of Kampala who runs the country like a Mafia business is not an easy job,” Johnson told the SSNA in rebel headquarters, Pagak.

“South Sudan is not a state of Uganda and it will never become one. We will respond decisively,” he asserted.

It is not the first time Johnson labelled Kiir as puppet of Kampala.

In May 2015, the controversial officer made a similar comment after Juba-backed forces attacked the SPLA-IO’s forces in Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile States.

In the document, the SPLA-IO stated that recent attack in Eastern Equatoria forced civilians to run into the bush to take cover for fear lives.

The armed opposition also calls on the international community to take immediate action against Juba to stop government aggressions, warning that rebel high military command is currently discussing government repeated attacks against the SPLA-IO.

South Sudan’s warring factions have been trading accusations over ceasefire violations, despite the IGAD-Plus brokered peace pact.

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