South Sudan Protests over IGAD’s Reluctance to Condemn Rebel Attacks

IGAD, under Ethiopian chairmanship, is caught in a position of conflicting loyalties. With Ethiopia accused of symphtizing with the rebels, the Kiir government shouldn't expect Ethiopia to condemn one its own stooge
IGAD, under Ethiopian chairmanship, is caught in a position of conflicting loyalties. With Ethiopia accused of sympathizing to the rebels, the Kiir government shouldn’t expect Ethiopia (IGAD) to condemn one of its own stooge

By Sudan Tribune,

THE South Sudanese government said it was disappointed with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD) reluctance to hold the country’s rebel forces accountable for the recent military clashes that occurred in Upper Nile state.

The South Sudanese embassy in Kenya, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, urged regional leaders through the mediators, to impose sanctions on those obstructing the peace process as earlier promised as part of the peace process.

“Riek and his men have violated this process several times, but we have not seen any attention against them by IGAD. Despite all these attacks launched by rebels, IGAD has been promptly informed but as usual, no condemnation of the perpetrators has come from IGAD to this moment,” partly reads the statement.

The statement also denied reports alleging Ugandan soldiers were killed by rebels in Upper Nile.

“The embassy of the republic of South Sudan categorically, wants to inform that, Riek’s men have run out of their steam. No single Uganda soldier exists in Upper Nile state; leave alone their imaginary male and female tank drivers,” it adds.

The South Sudanese army (SPLA) said last week’s attacks, allegedly by rebel forces, were reported to the regional bloc mediating peace talks between the warring parties.

SPLA spokesman Col. Philip Aguer told reporters that IGAD had been informed of the separate attacks on government position, saying the incidents clearly constituted a violation of the ceasefire agreement signed by both sides in January and recommitted to in May.

International monitors have accused both sides of violating the terms of the shaky agreement, although government and rebel forces have vehemently denied these accusations.

“These violations of course have been reported to the IGAD monitoring team that is here in Juba,” said Aguer.

“We have to inform the IGAD because IGAD and other international monitors blindly condemn the two parties in the conflict in South Sudan due to ignorance about the realities of who is attacking who,” he added.

The fighting erupted in two locations of Doleib Hills, south of Upper Nile state capital Malakal, and Al-caap-al-nil or Zinc.

The attacks came less a week after IGAD-led peace talks aimed at ending the political crisis were adjourned in Ethiopia.