Civil war at end?: South Sudan Peace Deal

Published: August 29, 2015

Civil war at end?: South Sudan Peace Deal, South Sudan’s rebel chief Riek Machar ordered his troops to lay down their arms in line with a ceasefire to end a 20-month civil war, his spokesman said Saturday.

His rival, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, had on Thursday ordered all government troops to stop fighting rebel forces as part of the agreement to end the conflict, which has left tens of thousands dead.

No clashes were reported between the two sides Saturday morning, according to both Machar’s spokesman and the regional eight-nation IGAD bloc which brokered the ceasefire deal along with the United Nations, the African Union, China, Britain, Norway and the United States.

But the government accused rebels of attacking its forces in the strategic northeastern town of Malakal in violation of the deal.

“The rebels yesterday attacked our position in Malakal but they were repulsed and this morning they again attacked Malakal,” said government spokesman Michael Makuei.

“This is a violation of the cessation of hostilities of the agreement and it should be recorded”.

It was impossible to verify the claim independently.

Makuei, who is also minister of information, led the government team at the negotiations over the ceasefire but is believed by observers to be hostile to the peace deal.

The accord gave a 72-hour deadline for a permanent ceasefire, which comes into effect around sunset on Saturday.

The UN Security Council on Friday called for the ceasefire to begin immediately and threatened sanctions against those who undermine the accord.

Machar’s spokesman, Nyarji Roman, earlier Saturday said the former vice president had ordered his rebel troops to lay down their arms in line with the accord.

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