South Sudan denies tension despite clashes

GMT 11:53 2014 Wednesday ,02 July

Arab Today, arab today South Sudan denies tension despite clashes

Sporadic clashes in South Sudan
Khartoum - XINHUA

 After relative calm following a peace agreement between South Sudan government and rebel groups on May 10, tension has escalated in the nascent country, according to media reports.
"The conditions are about to explode once again due to violence and bloody battles, particularly at Greater Equatoria region," Khartoum's al-Intibaha daily reported Wednesday.
"The general security condition has deteriorated fast, amid fears that new security tensions could spark conflict in South Sudan's capital Juba," the paper quoted South Sudanese sources as saying.
According to the report, clashes erupted between government forces under the leadership of South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit and troops loyal to Central Equatoria State Governor Clement Wani.
Clashes were reported at Terkaka, Wani's home town, and some media reports indicate that the governor may have rebelled and joined former Vice-President Riek Machar's forces, which have been fighting the South Sudan government army since mid-December last year.
South Sudan's army however denied media reports of escalating violence in South Sudan, emphasizing that the situation is stable, with the exception of limited disturbances.
"All these reports are fabricated. They are completely untrue," Philip Aguer, South Sudan's army spokesman, told Xinhua on Wednesday.
"Those reports rely on stories by some rebels who tend to create a state of tension and indicate instability in the South. I reiterate that the conditions are totally calm, except for some hostile acts by the rebels, particularly the aerial bombardment of al-Nasir town in Upper Nile State," he noted.
Aguer further denied that there was any kind of difference between the central government in Juba and Central Equatoria State governor, saying the information is "false," while adding "There is no difference with the governor. He embarks on his work as usual."
South Sudan's army is committed to the ceasefire agreement signed between President Kiir and former vice-president Riek Machar, Aguer said, adding the army did not have military operations in other areas of the country.
Last year, political infighting between President Kiir and Vice- President Machar, who is accused of leading a military rebellion against the government, turned into a full-fledged conflict that has claimed thousands of lives, left nearly five million in need of humanitarian assistance and led to atrocities being committed by both sides.
The South Sudanese rivals signed an agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on May 9, stipulating comprehensive ceasefire and formation of a transitional government to arrange for general elections within a year from the signing of the deal.
But South Sudan is still recovering from the armed conflict that has claimed the lives of thousands of its citizens and caused thousands more to flee to neighboring countries, and hampered development efforts in the nascent nation.

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