South Sudan rebels accuse army of attack in Akobo as peace talks near
South Sudanese rebels allied to the former First Vice President Riek Machar accused the government army of attacking their bases in Akobo areas in Bieh State as a new round of peace talks between the warring sides nears.
Koang Rambang, the rebel-appointed governor of Bieh state, told Radio Tamazuj today that government troops attacked rebel bases in Walgak, Kuernyuon and Tangnyang.
“This week, the government has been attacking our positions in Akobo West and Akobo Centre. They also plan to attack Langken,” he said.
Koang pointed out that one rebel soldier was killed and three civilians wounded during attacks on the area of Tangnyang by the government forces on Thursday, but they were repulsed.
Army spokesmen Lul Ruai Koang denied knowledge of government attacks on rebel positions in Akobo area, saying the fighting was between rebel forces after a rebel general called Malou Kolang defected in the area of Kuernyuon on Wednesday.
“The rebel forces led by General Malou said they want peace while the forces led by Kaong Rambang said they do not want peace,” he said.
The second phase of the revitalization process of the 2015 peace agreement is scheduled to be convened by the East African bloc IGAD on 5 February and is aimed at bringing the warring sides back to the negotiating table after the 2015 peace deal collapsed.