South Sudan fighting resumes as ceasefire hopes dashed

South Sudan fighting resumes as ceasefire hopes dashed

South Sudanese rebels have engaged in fresh fighting with government troops, breaking a new ceasefire deal and dashing hopes of a swift end to five months of brutal civil war.

The defence minister, Kuol Manyang, said there had been fighting in the oil-producing state of Upper Nile, and government troops had been ordered not to attack but only to fight in self-defence.

Since the signing of a peace deal last Friday between President Salva Kiir and the rebel leader Riek Machar, both sides have accused each other of launching ground attacks and artillery barrages.

Manyang said Machar was not in control of his troops and that heavily armed militia troops known as the White Army – who smear themselves in wood ash as warpaint and to ward off mosquitoes – had attacked government troops.

“These are irregular forces, the White Army is armed civilians, and they do not know about the cessation of hostilities agreement that was signed,” he added. “They are the ones that attacked, because they think the war is still going on.”…


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