South Sudan army warns of rebels attack

Khartoum, Feb 18: The South Sudan’s army Monday accused rebels, led by former vice-president Riek Machar, of planning to launch a new attack against Malakal, the capital of oil-rich Upper Nile state, despite ceasefire deal.

“Machar’s forces are now present at the Dungli area, some 8 km from Malakal,” Xinhua quoted Philip Aguer, spokesperson of South Sudan’s army as saying.

“The army in Malakal is expecting the rebels to launch an attack today or tomorrow,” he said, reiterating the army’s readiness to defend the regional capital.

Since mid December, 2013, South Sudan has been witnessing armed clashes between the government army and defectors loyal to the former vice-president who is accused of plotting to topple the government.

On Jan 23, the South Sudanese government and the rebels signed a ceasefire agreement in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, but the two sides traded accusations of violating the deal.

IANS