Sunday, February 25, 2018

SPLA-IO Says Government Prepares for New Attacks in South Sudan’s Yei River
UNMISS convoy arrives to Yei to assess the situation in the town following recent reports of conflict in the area on November 7, 2016 (UNMISS Photo).

February 23, 2018 (JUBA) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In Opposition (SPLM-IO) has accused the South Sudanese army of preparing to launch new attacks on its positions in Yei River state in South Sudan’s Equatoria region and attacking civilians in neighbouring areas.

On 21 February, the rebel group said that the government deployed new troops to Kajo-Keji equipped with four armoured personnel carriers (APCs).

"The force is now camped at their base in Wudu centre waiting for orders to launch aggressive attacks on the SPLA-IO positions in Kajo-Keji ahead of the next round of the peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia," said Wayi Godwill Edward, the spokesperson of SPLM-IO Governor in Yei River State.

The government and the SPLM-IO signed a cessation of hostilities last December but was not observed by the warring parties. However, the mediators the African Union and the Troika countries warned they would impose sanctions on the truce violators if the fighting resumes again.

On a related issue, Edward said the government forces attacked the displaced civilians residing in Iraga, Kirinya, Indipala and Gomoja areas of Morobo County and Apidi area of Mugwo Payam in Yei River County.

"They abducted and mistreated civilians, raped women and girls, looted goats, cattle, chicken and other household items and destroyed villages," he stressed.

He further said the SPLA raided and "totally burned down" homes at Kirinya and Gomoja on 22 February. The attack occurred according to the reel official after a rescue operation of ten people arrested by the government militia on 21 February.

Following the attack civilians fled to Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo or to IDP areas in other relatively calm locations, he said.

The SPLM-IO official denounced the incursions on the IDPs sites and the deployment of the government forces in Kajo-Kaji and called on the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) to investigate their claims.

"We call upon the CTSAMM to immediately investigate these acts of terror against civilians and heavy deployment of SPLA forces in Kajo-Keji which poses a clear declaration of war against peace; and to hold the regime responsible for such unwarranted violations," he said.

The parties are expected to resume the revitalization process within two or three weeks.


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