AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - The truce holds out in Juba but clashes have been reported in Wau

Thursday, 14 July 2016 armed groups   politics  

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - In Juba, capital of South Sudan, the evacuation of foreigners continue, after the fighting between the forces of President Salva Kiir (SPLA, the Sudan People's Liberation Army) and those loyal to first Vice President Riek Machar (SPLA-IO, the Sudan People's Liberation Army In Opposition) ceased three days ago. Uganda has sent a heavily armed military contingent to protect the evacuation of more than 3,000 Ugandans residing in Juba.
SPLA-IO forces have left their bases at the foot of mount Jebel, where they were allocated on the basis of the peace agreements. Now Machar’s men are scattered in the area between mount Jebel and the road of Yei, while the SPLA troops are setting up defensive positions along the road of Yei and Gudele.
SPLA-IO, however, has denounced that the SPLA forces has resumed fighting in different parts of the County of Wau, which has long been the center of heavy fighting (see Fides 30/06/2016). A spokesman for Machar’s formation said the SPLA soldiers have violated the ceasefire order issued by President Kiir (see Fides 12/07/2016).
Meanwhile, the Dinka Council of Elders has appealed to two SPLA-IO Ministers of Dinka ethnic group to join the field of President Kiir, who is also a Dinka. Machar is a Nuer, but in his field even some Dinka and members of other ethnic groups militate. This move appears aimed at relaunching the ethnic dimension of the political struggle under way in South Sudan. The Dinka Council of Elders is not a representative body of "wise" Dinka but instead a political group that supports the President. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 14/07/2016)