S. Sudan Ceasefire in Doubt

S. Sudan Ceasefire in DoubtS. Sudan Ceasefire in Doubt

South Sudan’s rebels and government traded accusations on Sunday just hours after a ceasefire between the two came into effect.

Rebels said the army had fired on some of their positions along the White Nile River, which the South Sudanese military dismissed as “mere fabrications” intended to hoodwink the international media, DW reported.

“A military convoy, two barges, seven gunboats, has been moving … Whenever they see our positions on the banks, they shell,” said rebel spokesman Dickson Gatluak.

The military wasted no time refuting the accusations. Army spokesman Philip Aguer told the press that “there is no force operating in that area,” before adding that the stories of bombardments were “mere fabrications by the rebels. We don’t have any report of clashes in that area as of today.”

After initially wavering, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir signed the peace accord on Wednesday, which had already been approved by rebel leader Riek Machar.

The truce was aimed at ending a brutal civil war in the country that began in December 2013 when Kiir accused Machar, his one-time deputy, of planning to overthrow him.

The ensuing conflict has seen two million people displaced, and atrocities such as ethnic cleansing, sexual assault and the use of child soldiers.