Southern Sudan Fighting in Jonglei State Kills 89, Army Spokesman Reports
Fighting between Southern Sudan’s army and a rebel militia in Jonglei state this week killed 89 people, an army spokesman said.
The clashes took place in Fangak county between the army and a militia loyal to renegade general George Athor, Philip Aguer, spokesman for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, said today in a phone interview from Juba, the regional capital.
The government of oil-rich Southern Sudan, which is due to become independent in July, signed a cease-fire agreement with Athor’s forces on Jan. 5. The fighting started after fighters loyal to Athor captured Fangak town on Feb. 9 and ended yesterday, Aguer said. The casualties included 39 civilians, 20 members of the army, police and wildlife service, and 30 of Athor’s men, he said.
“We were just waiting for the completion of the reconciliation process,” Aguer said. “We have no clue why he did this. In fact, we were transporting provisions, food and supplies to his forces when the attacks happened.”
Athor, a former chief of staff in Southern Sudan’s army, took up arms against the government after losing a state election in April. Southern Sudan President Salva Kiir offered amnesty to Athor and his forces in October.
“This shows that we have security challenges to deal with in the south,” Aguer said.
Southern Sudan accounts for about three quarters of Sudan’s 490,000 barrels of daily oil production. Sudan is sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest producer, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.
To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Richmond in Juba via Johannesburg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at email@example.com.
Bloomberg moderates all comments. Comments that are abusive or off-topic will not be posted to the site. Excessively long comments may be moderated as well. Bloomberg cannot facilitate requests to remove comments or explain individual moderation decisions.