South Sudan truce crumbles

2014-07-22 09:07
South Sudan President Salva Kiir. (File, AFP)

South Sudan President Salva Kiir. (File, AFP)

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

Juba - South Sudan rebels and government troops battled Monday over the strategic town of Nasir, the United Nations said, with rebels launching their largest offensive since an oft-broken May truce.

Heavy shooting continued for a second day with fighting continuing in the northern town and rebel forces apparently in "firm control" of the centre, the UN spokesperson Joe Contreras said.

The United Nations warned Sunday that the fresh rebel offensive "represents the most serious resumption of hostilities" since President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, rebel leader Riek Machar, met in May promising again to stick to a January ceasefire.

The United States condemned the rebel attack on Nasir saying the town's residents "have suffered from frequent and horrific acts of violence and human rights abuses since fighting broke out in mid-December, causing widespread displacement and a worsening humanitarian crisis as civilians fear returning to their homes".

Famine conditions

"We call on both parties to immediately end all such attacks and fully adhere to their ... commitments to cease hostilities," deputy State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said in a statement.

She warned that "famine conditions" were looming in some areas of the country, making it "increasingly urgent that both parties immediately recommit themselves to inclusive, political negotiations", recalling that leaders from both sides were on notice of possible US sanctions for any human rights abuses or for threatening peace.

More than seven months of war has left thousands dead and displaced 1.5 million people, and aid agencies are warning of famine if fighting continues.

UNMISS, the UN mission, laid the blame for the truce violation squarely with Machar's forces.

The rebels claim to control the town, their former headquarters, located some 500km north of Juba and close to the Ethiopian border.

Heaviest clashes

But the United Nations said that fighting was going on, with the heaviest clashes Monday reported around the government army barracks, just west of the town.

The UN peacekeepers remain in control of their base, where more than two dozen civilians are sheltering inside.

Fighting in South Sudan had eased since May, in part due to heavy rains that have hampered troop movements.

Previous ceasefire deals have failed to stick, and peace talks in luxury hotels in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa have made little progress.

Last month they halted indefinitely, with both sides refusing to attend the discussions, and blaming each other for the failure.

Earlier this month the departing UN representative in South Sudan Hilde Johnson issued a scathing attack on the country's leaders, lashing out at both the government and rebels, calling them a "self-serving elite" responsible for a looming "man-made famine".

Civilians have been massacred and dumped in mass graves, patients murdered in hospitals and churches, and entire towns flattened as urban centres, including key oil-producing hubs, changed hands several times.
Read more on:    un  |  riek machar  |  salva kiir  |  south sudan  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Food

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Mind power dominates and can help you to uncover things from a deeper level, but it can also create entanglements if you let your...read more

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.