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Tuesday, Mar 03rd, 2015

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Heavy Fighting Erupts in Unity State

Juba/Addis Ababa, February 10, 2015 (SSNA) -- Heavy fighting between government and rebel forces broke out in the capital of South Sudan’s oil-rich Unity State, on Tuesday with both sides using heavy artilleries, the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) has learned.

Fighting has been raging since early Tuesday with both sides accusing each other of attack.

South Sudanese government said rebel forces have attacked their positions in and around Bentiu and accuse the anti-government fighters of violating the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CHA) which was signed in January last year in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

“The rebels are shelling our positions in Bentiu. This is a violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement, and we will act in self-defence,” South Sudan’s Defence Minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk, was quoted by AFP as saying.

Meanwhile, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in Opposition (SPLA-IO) dismiss Juuk’s claims, saying Juba government is relying on lies and that the accusations Minister Juuk labeled against the opposition forces are ‘pure lies’.

“What really happened is that Juba soldiers with their foreign allies first attacked our outposts; they came and attacked us thinking they will flush us out of our positions,” Captain Peter Keer Mayoi who said he participated in the fight told the South Sudan News Agency by  satellite phone in Unity State.

“These are pure lies, they should blame themselves not us because we were just responding to their attacks...now Kuol Manyang Juuk is lying because we defeated his soldiers back to where they came from,” he asserted.

Fighting erupted in December of 2013 between different units of presidential guards after months of political chaos among senior leaders of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party.

President Kiir accuses his main-rival, Dr. Machar, of planning a coup. Machar denies the allegation saying Kiir premeditated the alleged coup in an attempt to try to get rid of his rivals.

South Sudan Rebels Designate Equatoria Region “Military Zone,” Urge Citizens to Leave

Addis Ababa, February 9, 2015 (SSNA) -- A senior official of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in Opposition (SPLM-IO) has announced that the Equatoria Region has been labeled as a military zone, effective February 10, 2015.

The official also urges civil population to leave all government-controlled cities.

In a press statement extended to the South Sudan News agency (SSNA), the leadership of South Sudan’s rebels said that the government of South Sudan has repeatedly violated the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CHA) which was signed on January 23rd, 2013.

“From the 10th February, 2015 Equatoria region is effectively declared a military zone until the current regime is changed,” Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, the SPLM-IO Chairman of National Committee for Political Mobilization said in the statement.

The document which bears the signature of Pierino, has harshly accused Juba of undermining peace talks by refusing to withdraw foreign forces and urges anyone who lives in any government-controlled city to leave.

“The government of South Sudan and its allies has been violating this agreement by refusing to withdraw foreign forces that continued to undermine the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the new nation,” he added.

Prierino further reveals that IGAD which is mediating the peace between the two warring factions has members who back Kiir’s regime and that achieving peace is near to impossible. Even though Pierino did not name any country by name, it is in record that Uganda, a member of IGAD is supporting Kiir.

“Unfortunately for the peace talks in Addis Ababa, those who mediate the talks-the IGAD has members who are complicit in the state failure in South Sudan and human right violations in the armed conflict,” Pierino recalls.

The SPLM-IO leader expresses disappointment over IGAD’s decision to put more focus on power sharing and reunification of the SPLM, saying that demand for political and governance reforms and justice for the victims of Kiir’s genocide remains one of the critical points in the ongoing peace negotiations.

The SPLM-IO senior official also reminds the international community that Kiir’s government is still beheading people in their houses in and around Juba, condemns what he calls government policy of targeting and killing the members of Nuer, equatorians, pertit, balanda, shilluk, murle, and other members of minority communities, and urge United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to investigate and bring culprits to justice.

Lou Nuer warns Uganda, South Sudan of bloody end, vows ‘merciless defense’

Waat, February 7, 2015 (SSNA) -- A group calling itself the leadership of Lou Nuer in the Republic of South Sudan has announced that they have tangible evidences which show Uganda and South Sudan have prepared their military forces and ready to attack Lou Nuer areas at any time.

The statement which bears the signature of the Leadership of Lour Nuer in South Sudan and seen by the South Sudan News Agewncy (SSNA) warns Kampala and Juba of serious consequences. The document also promises Kampala and Juba of what it describes as a merciless defense.

“Let the Genocidal Salva Kiir and his accomplice Yoweri Museveni attack us, we are more than ready and well prepare to teach them a lesson they will never forget. This is going to be a bloody end for them and they must know it before their death-sentence mission,” the statement reads in part.

“We are ready for a merciless defense,” the declaration warns.

The document also asks soldiers of the two countries to think before they set foot in the Lou Nuer land and calls on the international community to be aware of Juba-Kampala actions.

“We have been monitoring the forces of Kiir and his Ugandan father since Mid-December of last year, they tried to attack our areas three times before but they failed to show up because they know what is waiting for them,” the statement added.

The leadership of Lou Nuer in South Sudan also calls on the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), African Union (AU), Troika countries, and the United Nations (UN) to be aware of Museveni and Kiir actions.

Ugadan troops have been fighting alongside SPLA forces loyal to South Sudan's President, Salva kiir Mayardiiit.

On November 5, 2014 the SSNA obtained a carefully designed wide-raging Ugandan military war plan against South Sudan’s rebels. In the text, the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) asked South Sudan’s rebels to either surrender or be wiped out.

The presence of Uganda military in South Sudan angers rebel forces, with Uganda President Museveni refusing to withdraw its soldiers claiming that South Sudanese President Kiir has asked Kampala for a military protection.

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