Former Rebels Say South Sudan Army Attacked as They Set Up Base

South Sudan’s former rebels accused government troops of attacking them as they set up a base in a region southwest of the capital, a move they said is allowed under a peace agreement.

A total of 11 government soldiers and two former rebels were killed June 10 in clashes in the oil-producing country’s Yei River state, opposition spokesman William Gatjiath Deng said Sunday by phone. Army spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said his forces had received information about “armed criminals” in the area. “We attacked and stopped them from taking advantage of the civilians,” he said by phone from Juba, the capital.

Former rebel leader Riek Machar and his rebel forces returned to Juba in late April to form a national unity government with President Salva Kiir that’s supposed to restructure the nation before elections within 30 months. Fighting that erupted in December 2013 has left tens of thousands of people dead and forced more than 2 million from their homes.

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