More heavy fighting in South Sudan

2015-02-17 17:13
South Sudan army (SPLA) soldiers. (Samir Bol, AFP)

South Sudan army (SPLA) soldiers. (Samir Bol, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Juba - Warring forces in South Sudan battled Tuesday in the oil-rich Upper Nile state, the defence minster said, claiming insurgents were trying to capture a key town ahead of peace talks.

Heavy shelling was reported in several sites in the northern Renk region on both Monday and Tuesday, Defence Minister Kuol Manyang told AFP, resulting in the "injuring of many civilians... and destroying a number of houses."

There was no information on how many might have been killed.

Fighting broke out in South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, in December 2013 when President Kiir accused his sacked deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup.

Over two dozen armed forces - including government soldiers and allied militia backed by Ugandan soldiers on one side, and a range of rebel factions on the other - have been battling it out for the last 14-months despite numerous ceasefire agreements.

Regional bloc IGAD has set a 5 March deadline for Kiir and Machar to reach a final peace agreement, but previous deadlines have been repeatedly ignored despite the threat of sanctions. The next round of faltering peace talks is due to resume on 19 February.

Manyang said rebels were making a grab for more territory to increase their bargaining power at the talks.

"The rebel leader [Machar] says he will only sign a peace agreement when he is in control of a strategic town," said Manyang, claiming that rebels were also "mobilising now to attack Bentiu," the capital of Unity state which was shelled earlier this month.

Fighting began in the capital Juba setting off a cycle of retaliatory massacres across the country.

The UN estimates that 2.5 million people are in a state of emergency or crisis, just steps short of famine.

No overall death toll for the war has been kept by the government, rebels or the UN, but the International Crisis Group estimates that at least 50 000 people have been killed.

Read more on:    riek machar  |  south sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.