South Sudan ceasefire agreement in jeopardy

The government and rebels in South Sudan traded accusations on Saturday of breaking a ceasefire deal supposed to calm violence that has driven half a million people from their homes.

"The rebel forces are still continuing to attack our forces," Information Minister Michael Makeui Lueth said on arrival from Ethiopia, where President Salva Kiir's government signed a deal on Thursday with the rebels led by former vice-president Riek Machar.

The deal came into effect on Friday night after a 24-hour window under an agreement brokered by Igad, a regional grouping of nations.

"If nothing is done by the Igad, then definitely our forces will not fold their hands," Lueth said.

Accusation reversal
A rebel spokesperson accused the government of launching attacks on their positions in Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile states soon after the agreement was signed.

"For them to turn around and accuse us is ridiculous," said Lul Ruai Koang in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

Igad's mediators were not immediately available to comment.

The rebellion, which broke out in Africa's newest state in the middle of last month, has pitted Kiir's troops against those loyal to Machar, as well as more autonomous groups.

Lueth said that could be why rebel soldiers were still carrying out attacks, as they lacked a unified command.

"Rebels are undisciplined people. They have no regular force. They have no central command. In that case, it's not strange that they immediately violate [the agreement]," the minister said.

Central command
Koang rejected the claim. "We do not have factions. We have one central command. It is the government that has three commands," he said, citing the tribal army under the control of the president, the national army and the Ugandan troops who have been fighting alongside the government.

Although initially caused by a political row, the conflict has taken a tribal turn with Kiir's Dinka clashing with Machar's Nuer. Thousands of people have been killed.

A journalist in the town of Bor, to the north of the capital, heard shelling at lunchtime on Saturday and saw two government soldiers who had just been wounded in the fighting.

"This is clearly a violation of the cessation of hostilities," Malual Ayom, a government army commander told reporters in Bor.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan to the north in 2011 after decades of war between both sides. – Reuters

 Additional reporting by Njuwa Maina in Bor

Advertisting

Strike-off case pulls in judge

Judge Mushtak Parker is implicated in an application to strike off his former partners. He is also involved in the fight between the Western Cape high court’s judge president and his deputy

One strike and you’re out – registrar tells unions

A municipal workers’ union is the first to be sanctioned for not following the new rule when deciding whether to go on strike
Advertising

Press Releases

Dr Mathew Moyo’s journey to academic victory

The NWU's chief director for library and information services was appointed as a board member of the National Council for Library and Information Services.

UKZN pays tribute to Joseph Shabalala, Doctor of Music (honoris causa)

The university joins the global community in mourning the passing of legendary musician and founding member of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dr Bhekizizwe Joseph Shabalala.

South Africa to be almost R 14-billion wealthier when SAB Zenzele BB-BBEE scheme winds down in April 2020

It’s the biggest BB-BEE FMCG payout in South Africa’s history, with a new scheme to be launched

UKZN vice-chancellor calls for perspective and creative engagement on the way forward

In addition to overcoming the deadlock between UKZN and students, a way must be found to reconcile the university's financial obligations and students' long-term needs.

Survey shows South Africans’ approval of president but not of political parties

According to the survey, 62% of South Africans think Cyril Ramaphosa is doing his job well, while 39% say no political party represents their views.

Andrew Makenete joins Africa Agri Tech as an event ambassador

Makenete has a wealth of experience in the agricultural sector

Is your company prepared for the coronavirus?

Companies should consider the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic when evaluating whether they are prepared for the coronavirus, says ContinuitySA.

Explaining the distribution of pension funds

Section 37C of the Pension Funds Act puts the ultimate decision-making responsibility in trustees' hands, says Fedgroup.