Thursday, 21 April 2011

SPLA clash with rebels leaves 20 dead

According to Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLA), at least 20 South Sudanese soldiers have been killed in a deadly clash with rebel fighters. A spokesman for SPLA said the soldiers were killed when the militants attacked a village in Unity State.

It is believed that the attack commenced when army trucks hit landmines set by the rebels, which later led to the deadly clashes. The rebel group, calling itself South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA), said the attack was only the "start of the offensive." A spokesman for the group, Bol Gatkuoth Kol, explained its objective by stating: "The government has failed miserably. It must go."
The SSLA, lead by former SPLA commander Peter Gadet, has voiced disapproval of South Sudan's government, saying it was corrupt and incapable of enforcing law and order in the region.

Oil-rich South Sudan is due to separate from the north in July, following an overwhelming secession vote in a referendum in January under a US-backed 2005 peace treaty which ended decades of conflict.

Earlier this year, the South's ruling party Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement (SPLM) accused Khartoum of funding rebel groups in order to destabilise the South before it achieves independence on 9th July, a charge both Khartoum and the rebels have denied.

Sources: BBC, RTT News, Miami Herald, Bloomberg, Sudan Tribute

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