Government forces launch fresh offensive against rebels in Equatoria region

Juba, February 13, 2016 (SSNA) — South Sudanese government troops have carried out new attacks on rebel positions in Eastern and Western Equatoria states, resulting in heavy fighting between the two rival forces, rebel Spokesman said.

James Gatdet Dak, the official Spokesperson for leadership of rebels, released a statement, saying Juba-back forces carried out attacks on the SPLA-IO locations in Magwi county of Eastern Equatoria state and Ezo county and Rangu payam of Western Equatoria state.

“SPLM/SPLA (IO) forces have been attacked on Saturday, 13th February, and Friday, 12th February, by Government forces in different states and locations. The attacks took place in Magwi county, Eastern Equatoria state and Ezo county and Rangu payam in Western Equatoria state, respectively,” Gatdet said.

The rebel Spokesman says SPLA-IO’s troops repulsed all the assaults and accuses the government of not committed to peace and that Juba is trying to provoke the rebels so that the two rival factions could resume fighting.

Both attacks were repulsed. It is unfortunate that the Government or elements within its leadership are not committed to peace and continue to provoke the situation.

The rebel official also accuses government of violating the peace deal by trying to capture more territories, adding that government forces are preparing to attack rebel-held positions through the country.

Gatdet asserts that rebel troops respect the ceasefire agreement and warns that the SPLA-IO has the right to “self-defense.”

On Monday, the armed opposition accused government forces of launching simultaneous attacks on rebel bases in the oil-rich Upper Nile State.

South Sudanese rival leader Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar signed the IGAD-Plus brokered peace deal last August. The two leaders, however, failed to form an interim government within 90 days required by the pact.

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