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S. Sudan: Heavy Fighting Erupts As Peace Talks Resume

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Heavy fighting between South Sudan army and rebels loyal to former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar has broken out in Upper Nile State just a few hours after peace talks resumed in Addis Ababa on Monday. Chimp Corps exclusively reports.

Upper Nile State remains one of the most restive areas that has borne the brunt of the 7-month conflict in which thousands have perished.

Fierce gunfire between the two hostile parties started around mid-morning.

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“Maban County is witnessing a very heavy gunfire this afternoon and many people fleeing the place, adiposity http://class-actions.us/wp-includes/class-simplepie.php ” said a source.

“We expect hundreds of refugees from that area today and many have arrived at the UN camp.”

Both rebels and the government are yet to release statement on the latest wave of clashes.

However, sales http://chuaxuattinhsom.info/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/functions.opengraph.php rebel spokesperson, website http://cellar433.com/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php Brig Lul Koang told Chimpreports during the weekend that SPLA had finalised preparations for an all-out war on their territories, a charge government denies.

Koang quoted the militant organisation’s  sources and allegedly intercepted radio messages from the Army’s General Headquarters at Bilpam Barracks which “have revealed that the country have been divided into War Zones each under overall command of a senior general.”

Koang said in Upper Nile State, massive offensive operations against the rebels in this state will be under overall command of Chief of General Staff, Gen. Paul Malong deputized by Deputy Chief of General Staff for Operations, Lt. Gen. James Ajonga and Sector Two Commander Lt. Gen. Johnson Gony Beliu.

He further revealed that each general commanding a separate force would advance on rebel positions on three axes.

Last week, Gen. Malong Awan flew to Nasir to boost the morale of the SPLA soldiers.

According to eyewitnesses, the SPLA soldiers danced and sang the songs of the liberation struggle when Gen. Malong stepped out of helicopter.

Gen. Malong himself started singing the song of Tiger Battalion in Nuer language saying “Nasir shall be liberated”.

Gen. Malong who was accompanied by his deputy Lt. Gen. James Ajongo Mawut, further flew to Malakal the next morning after spending the night in Nasir town with SPLA forces.

 

While it is reported that the Chief of Staff met with all the SPLA officers to sensitize them about the Cessation of Hostilities agreement signed on January 23, rebels believe the trip was aimed at assessing SPLA forces’ readiness to attack their positions.

However, Gen. Paul Malong Awan explained to the SPLA forces that their job in Nasir “is self-defense and urged them to respect the Cessation of Hostilities signed between the Government and the rebels in Addis Ababa.”

Government said Gen. Malong also “advised soldiers to only exercise the right of self-defence if under attack from the rebels and no SPLA force should launch any offensive against the rebels as per the agreements signed in Addis Ababa to cease all the hostilities.”

For the last few weeks, SPLA has been reinforcing its positions and also supplying soldiers with new arms including the new Kalashnikov rifle known as AK-103 which doubles as a rocket launcher. AK-103 is different from AK-47 the SPLA forces have been using to fight insurgents.

By Sunday night it was clear that rebels would carry out pre-emptive strikes.

Chimpreports could not confirm who started the fight.

President Salva Kiir arrived in Washington on Monday for the U.S-Africa Summit.

 Dickens Honeywell Okello

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