JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
Renewed clashes between government troops
and opposition forces in the northern South Sudanese
town of Koch have killed at least 32 people since the
Dec. 24 cease-fire, a local government official said on
Information Minister for Northern Liech State, said that
the deaths occurred during fresh fighting that broke out
between government soldiers and rebels loyal to the
country’s former Deputy President Riek Machar since the
declaration of the truce on Sunday.
normalcy has returned to the town but government forces
are still engaging the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in
Opposition (SPLA-IO) rebels in a nearby town.
“On the 24th
of December, 13 people were killed on the side of the
government. Most of them were civilians. 19 were also
killed on the side of the rebels who came to attack us
while 15 others were injured,” Lam said.
“We have to
pursue them to make sure that they are far away from the
civilians because they are causing a lot of havoc to the
civilians,” he added.
cease-fire agreement signed between the South Sudanese
government and several rebel groups on Thursday last
week was brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on
Development (IGAD), an East African regional bloc.
asked warring parties to stop military operations and
keep their forces in their bases while calling for the
release of political detainees as well as unhindered
Gabriel, SPLA-IO Deputy Military Spokesperson on
Thursday accused the government of further violating the
cease-fire by launching fresh attacks on their bases in
Koch and the Western town of Mundri.
the government of trying to capture more territory from
the opposition before the start of second round of the
IGAD-led High Level Revitalization Forum early next
factions had previously violated several cease-fires
since the conflict erupted four years ago.
has been embroiled in four years of conflict that has
taken a devastating toll on the people, creating one of
the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.
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 in July 2016.
UNICEF urges ending of
violations against children in conflict areas
UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua)
-- The United Nations
Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday called on all
parties to conflict to abide by their obligations under
international law and immediately end violations and
attacks against children.
are being targeted and exposed to attacks and brutal
violence in their homes, schools and playgrounds,” said
Manuel Fontaine, the Director of Emergency Programmes at
UNICEF, in a news release.
attacks continue year after year, we cannot become numb.
Such brutality cannot be the new normal.”
UNICEF, children have become frontline targets, used as
human shields, killed, maimed and recruited to fight in
conflicts around the world.
violence, forced marriage, abduction and enslavement
have become “standard tactics,” in conflicts from Iraq,
Syria and Yemen, to Nigeria, South Sudan and Myanmar,
said the UN agency.
to the physical trauma children have had to suffer, far
too many children have been subjected to the
psychosocial trauma in having to witnesses shocking and
thousands have been displaced and many children have
died as a result of lack of health care, medicines or
access to food and water, because these services and
were damaged or destroyed in fighting.
contexts, children abducted by extremist groups
experience abuse yet again upon release when they are
detained by security forces, added UNICEF.
called on all states with influence over parties to
conflict “to use that influence to protect children.”