South Sudan government forces and rebels have accused each other of breaking a ceasefire agreement just hours after it came into effect. James Gatdet Dak, the spokesman for the rebel leader Riek Machar, told Al Jazeera from Kenya’s Nairobi on Sunday that the army was attacking rebel bases along the Nile river.
“We think that they are not committed to the peace agreement and this is why they are still on the offensive against our forces,” he said. “It is a violation of the ceasefire which he [President Salva Kiir] has declared himself.” Ateny Wek Ateny, the spokesman for Kiir, told Al Jazeera from South Sudan’s capital, Juba, that the government was committed to the truce deal.
He rejected the rebel accusations and said that it was the army that was attacked. “The government forces are instructed to remain in their baracks by their commander-in-chief,” he said. “It is the responsibility of those who have actually mediated peace to have a mechanism that can determine who is actually attacking here now.”
Al Jazeera’s Anna Cavell, reporting from Juba, said there had been fighting in Upper Nile, Jonglei and Unity State since the peace deal came into effect at midnight local time on Saturday.