A cease fire agreement signed by the South Sudanese government and Sudan’s People’s Libration Movement/Army has been broken as the rebel group announced it has been attacked by the government on Friday January 24th, less than 24 hours after the deal was signed.
According to the spokesperson for the SPLM/A, government forces attacked the rebels on Friday morning.
“This morning, we have been informed by our bosses on the ground that the government forces have attacked our position in the Unity State area, which is not far away from where their forces are in Bentiu,” the spokesperson said at a press briefing held at the Saro Maria Hotel on Friday January 24th.
“When we signed the agreement, we officially informed our bosses and gave them directives to stay where they were and not fire because we signed a cease fire agreement,” the spokesperson said.
The SPLM/A had been negotiating the release of detainees by the government as a pre condition for the cease fire.
There have been two agreements signed. According to the detainees’ statues agreement, both parties agreed to establish an all-inclusive National Reconciliation Process in which the detainees and other political actors have a significant role to play. The agreement also states that any dispute that may arise from the implementation and interpretation of the agreement shall be resolved amicably by the mediation of the IGAD Special Envoys.
Regarding the cease fire agreement signed, it states that both parties agree to cease all military actions aimed at each other and any other action that may undermine the peace process.
“The government force’s action I think is a very clear violation of the agreement we signed yesterday (Thursday). On our side we are planning to go right to IGAD stating that the other side is not respecting the agreement,” the spokesperson said.
“Our forces are now in the position of self defense. I can also inform you that we (SPLM/A) have been meeting and talking about having a clear position in this situation. We will soon report to IGAD on our decisions,” he added.