Juba - Rebels from the Cobra faction of South Sudan's armed forces have joined opposition forces to fight against the administration of President Salva Kiir, breaking a ceasefire and accusing him of a lack of commitment to peace in the country.
According to the Sudan Tribune, the top leadership of the Cobra faction announced their defection from the government forces on Tuesday, declaring war against the current administration and breaking a peace agreement with the government that had been signed in 2014 under the leadership of current Deputy Defence Minister, David Yauyau.
Brokered by church leaders and led by Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban of the Roman Catholic Church, the peace accord marked an end to four years of conflict that left hundreds of people dead and destroyed property in the former Jonglei state.
In conjunction with former armed opposition under the command of General Khalid Boutros, Yauyau's former deputy, the Cobra faction were now set to consult with other rebel groups in a bid to co-ordinate programmes to overthrow the current Kiir's government.
"We will consult with the other opposition forces on the ground, we want to co-ordinate so that we save the people of South Sudan from this regime."
"We are actually forced to fight, we signed a peace agreement, but the government violated the agreement, so we are forced to fight," Boutros was quoted as saying.
Akol Paul Kordit, Deputy Minister of Information, strongly denied the accusations, saying that Kiir had promoted some Cobra Faction forces to high-ranking positions in the Sudan People's Liberation Army in the past, according to VOA.
In reaction to the development, Deputy Defence Minister Yauyau claimed that he was not aware of Boutro's defection but said that it would be "unfortunate" if proven to be true.
"I have no information about what you are telling me but if it is true, then it is unfortunate thing because our people need peace, they need to reconcile, they need to rest to rebuild their lives. It is not time for war," Yauyaum said.