Gunships Strike South Sudanese Rebels as Week-Long Battle Rages

SOUTH SUDAN (Capital Markets in Africa) – South Sudan’s army used helicopter gunships to fend off rebels in a north-eastern state as fighting entered a second week, underscoring the challenge facing regional mediators trying to resuscitate a peace deal to end the almost four-year civil war.

Rebels are attacking army garrisons in Waat town, Bieh state, prompting the government to use “all in its power” to fight them, Defence Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk said Tuesday by phone from the capital, Juba. A spokesman for the insurgents, Paul Gabriel Lam, said by text message that two helicopter attacks on Monday left scores of civilians dead.

There was no independent confirmation of the fighting, although the International Committee of the Red Cross last week urged warring parties to give them access to the wounded. Juuk said more than 70 children had been killed during battles that began about Oct. 1 for the town he said has no strategic importance.

The civil war that began in South Sudan in December 2013 has left tens of thousands of people dead and forced more than 4 million from their homes. A regional bloc is trying to resurrect a 2015 peace deal that was thrown into turmoil just weeks into its enactment in July 2016, when the main rebel leader and his forces were driven from Juba in further violence.

Source: Bloomberg Business News


Leave a Comment