Government Forces Continue with Ceasefire Violation in Equatoria region despite Permanent Cease-Fire Declaration
September 13, 2015 (Nyamilepedia) – Government forces Loyal to President Salva Kiir have been accused of continuing with attacks on opposition bases in Equatoria region despite a peace agreement and a week long declaration of permanent ceasefire by leaders from both sides.
Several rebel bases belonging to the South Sudan Armed Opposition in Central and Western Equatoria were attacked since last week, attacks still continued until today according to rebel commanders in the region who warn such continues violations of the ceasefire could lead to unravelling of the peace agreement.
Government soldiers believed to be taking orders from Army chief of staff Gen. Paul Malong today attacked opposition bases in Lainya county of Central Equatoria today and also in Maridi county Western Equatoria.
Gen. Paul Malong is one of the generals on the government side who have rejected the peace agreement and prefers continuation of the civil war, he’s believed to be behind several attacks on opposition bases despite a permanent ceasefire that was declared by president Salva Kiir.
The village of Wonduruba was on saturday again attacked and thousands civilians have been displace while many have fled into the bush for fear of attacks by government soldiers who are reported to be attacking civilians for unclear reasons yet to be understood, however rebel commanders say it’s frustration with loses that government soldiers faced from the rebels during the weekend which caused the government side to attack civilians as a form of retaliation.
The villages of Katigiri, Mengelle and Mankaro have been attacked by the government soldiers who according to locals in the villages spoke in Dinka language indicating they are from Bahr El Ghazal.
Houses in the village of Katigari, Mengelle and Mankaro have been burned down while properties have been looted, farmers say there farms have also been destroyed, More than 4000 civilians have now fled into the bushes as of today with nothing and no food to eat.
A church leader in Lainya said there was a humanitarian catastrophy developing in the county of Lainya and especially in Wonduruba Payam were thousands have been displaced from their homes.
“We need international help, the people have nothing to eat and have all fled into the bush, their farms have been destroy,” Said church worker Peter Lasuba.
“Where is peace which was signed….. who will protect us when the same soldiers are now killing the population? who can we run to now please…. we need this to stop now not tomorrow,” Added the church worker.
Government forces clashed with armed opposition fighters in the county after government soldiers attacked bases in attempts to gain grounds and capture rebel territories, however rebels fighters repulsed the government attacks killing dozens of soldiers and destroying several vehicles, this is believed to have angered government forces who then turned on civilians in the nearby villages accusing them of supporting rebels.
Despite President Salva Kiir declaring a Permanent Cease-fire as required by the IGAD peace agreement, government soldiers have continued to attack rebel bases first in Upper Nile, Unity and last week extended their attacks on bases in Equatoria region, rebel fighters said they have fought back in self defense but have not moved forward to attack government bases.
The SPLM-IO officials say they have already raised the government violations of the permanent ceasefire with the IGAD mediation and awaiting action from IGAD to restrain the government to avoid return to wide spread fighting.
A workshop on ceasefire and security arrangements have started in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Saturday 12th and is expected to last for a week, the workshop will discuss the ceasefire mechanism, Assembly and cantonment, formation of joint commands in major towns, formation of join ceasefire monitoring body, demilitarization of Juba and deployment of joint Police forces in Juba, Bor, Malakal and Bentui.