South Sudan warns of guerrilla war if peace talks fail

File: Opposition forces have accused South Sudan’s government of waging a war on them. The government has countered that it only acts in self-defence. Photo: ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP

JOHANNESBURG – South Sudan’s opposition is warning that it will resort to “guerrilla warfare” if peace talks due shortly in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa fail, AP reported.

“We will keep fighting from the bush by using insurgencies and tactical strategies,” said James Otong, general deputy commander for the armed opposition.

READ: UN urges 'return' of aid workers missing in South Sudan

The peace talks are due to resume on Monday despite continued fighting between President Salva Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the opposition SPLA-IO led by Dr Riek Machar who is currently in exile in South Africa.

Both sides continue to blame each other for the ongoing violence which has killed tens of thousands and resulted in 3 million refugees – the continent’s largest refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

Opposition forces blame the government of waging a war on them. The government counters that it only acts in self-defence.

The bloody impasse is causing consternation both regionally and internationally with the US pressing the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo on the world’s newest country.

However, on Saturday UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said tougher measures needed to come from Africa and not the UN.

Chairman of the independent Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), Festus Mogae, condemned South Sudan’s leaders for signing a cease-fire agreement one day and allowing its “violation with impunity” the next.

“It is now time to revisit the range of practical measures that can be applied in earnest to those who refuse to take this process seriously,” Mogae said.

African News Agency

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