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South Sudan

Army spokesman Santo Dominic Chol confirmed to Xinhua that there had been fighting in different parts of the country, but refuted the claims made by Machar-led SPLM-IO party.

“They (SPLM-IO forces) attacked our positions in Yei River (State) and in areas of Unity State but we repulsed them. They are just trying to mislead the public. They did not capture any ground,” Chol said.

He said SPLM-IO forces had intensified attacks on areas under the government control in recent weeks.

SPLM-IO spokesman Dickson Gatluak on Wednesday claimed that their forces took control of Bazi along the South Sudan-DR Congo border, Morobo in Central Equatoria State and Kaljak in Unity State.

Gatluak also said 20 aid workers who were said to be taken hostage during the weekend fighting in Nhiadiu in northern South Sudan, had returned to their places of work “safely”.

He disputed claims by the government that the aid workers were abducted by opposition fighters, saying they were trapped by the weekend clashes but left there after the situation calmed down.

South Sudan fell into civil war in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his sacked deputy Machar of plotting a coup. Machar denied the accusation but then mobilized a rebel force.

A peace deal signed in August 2015 between the rival leaders under UN pressure led to the establishment of a transitional unity government in April, but was shattered by renewed fighting that erupted in early July.

Machar, who was reinstated as Kiir’s deputy in April, fled Juba after the July fighting and was later sacked again.

He is now in residence in South Africa and has called for his supporters to topple Kiir’s government.

Tens of thousands have been killed, with over two million displaced and another 4.6 million left severely food insecure since late 2013. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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