JUBA SEPTEMBER 8 2015(CISA) – South Sudan’s army has called for international monitors to observe a ceasefire, as it rejected repeated rebel claims of heavy battles in the war-torn country.
“We have asked for monitors from the United States or the United Nations to fill the gap, to observe the ceasefire to stop these accusations,” army spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP September 8.
Both sides have accused each other of breaking the recently signed peace agreement aimed at ending a brutal 20-month civil war.
Aguer dismissed rebel claims on September 7 that government forces had attacked rebel positions for a fifth day in the battleground northeastern state of Upper Nile as “lies” and said that the army “remains committed to the ceasefire.”
Ceasefire monitors from the regional East Africa bloc IGAD, which led efforts to negotiate the peace deal are meant to be monitoring the ceasefire, the eighth to have been agreed since war began in December 2013.
The world’s youngest nation, South Sudan descended into bloodshed in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused rebel chief Riek Machar, then his deputy, of planning a coup.
The violence has left tens of thousands of people dead and the impoverished country split along ethnic lines.