Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


S Sudan rebels launch new offensive

21 July 2014, 08:37

Juba - South Sudanese rebels launched an offensive to retake a key town near the border with Ethiopia on Sunday in what the United Nations said was a clear violation of a truce agreement.

"This attack represents the most serious resumption of hostilities" since President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, rebel leader Riek Machar, met in May and recommitted to a January ceasefire, the UN mission said in a statement.

The fighters loyal to Machar struck Nasir, their former headquarters, located 500km north of Juba and close to Ethiopia, which was retaken by government forces in May.

UNMISS, the UN mission, laid the blame squarely for the renewed fighting with Machar's forces. "The attack is a clear violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement," it said.


But a spokesperson for Machar's forces, Lul Kuang, defended their moves as an act of "self-defence" after what he described as several government attempts to arrest their military commander.

"The fall of Nasir now paves the way for military resources to be refocused on Poloich Oil Fields, Maban and Malakal", Kuang said in a statement, referring to the main remaining oil field still in activity.

South Sudanese army spokesperson Philip Aguer denied Nasir had fallen, describing fighting as "still ongoing".

Aguer said army forces had staged nine offensives on Nasir on Sunday.

Peace talks

Only days earlier mediators had pressed the rival sides to resume peace talks being held in Ethiopia, or face increased sanctions.

Those talks, moderated by the East African bloc IGAD, are designed to lead to a transitional government but have yielded little progress so far.

"It is deplorable that this major attack comes at a time when intensive efforts are under way by mediators of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to convince all parties to resume the suspended peace talks in Addis Ababa," UNMISS acting head Raisedon Zenenga said in the statement.

South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, marked only the third anniversary of its independence this month under the shroud of a war which has enflamed ethnic hatred and brought its people to the brink of famine.

'Man-made famine'

The conflict has raged since mid-December when presidential guards loyal to Kiir clashed with troops supporting Machar, who fled to the bush and rallied a huge rebel army.

An estimated 1.5 million people have been displaced and thousands killed, including civilians massacred indiscriminately in hospitals and churches and dumped in mass graves.

The last UN head lambasted both sides in the South Sudanese conflict on her way out of the country earlier this month, saying they were causing a "man-made famine".

Analysts say both sides believe the war is still winnable by force.

Fighting had abated since May in part due to heavy rains and poor roads that hampered troop and equipment movements.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...