South Sudan: Counter Attacks Dash Peace Hopes

UPDF trucks carrying Ugandans and others from several countries who had been stranded in South Sudan.

Khartoum — A NEW peace deal aimed at ending the five-year civil war in South Sudan is further hanging in the balance after clashes between government forces and rebel groups have left at least 18 civilians dead.

The killings in the Upper Nile State came amid rivals accusing the other of attacking their positions.

This is in violation of the peace deal President Salva Kiir and Sudan People's Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-O) leader Riek Machar signed in Sudan at the end of June.

Kiir's government reported coordinated rebel attacks in four different states across South Sudan on June 30.

Rebel spokesperson, Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel, said government forces launched an attack on their forces within the Wau State on the same day.

Political recriminations and sporadic fighting have continued since both parties violated the ceasefire.

The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect has called on the United Nations Security Council to impose targeted sanctions as well as an arms embargo on South Sudan.

It urged the African Union (AU) to adopt sanctions against those implicated in violating the recent ceasefire agreement.

"All perpetrators of atrocities in South Sudan, regardless of position oraffiliation, must be held accountable," centre stated.

Following the violation of the June 30 ceasefire AU Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, called for measures against key actors in South Sudan, including possible sanctions.

Earlier, the UN adopted a resolution expressing its intention to consider targeted sanctions against six senior officials and/or an arms embargo if parties failed to reach a peace agreement.

Since 2013 an estimated 4,5 million South Sudanese have fled their homes due to conflict. Over 2,6 million refugees are spread across neighbouring countries.

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