UN Should Separate South Sudan’s Warring Parties, Ex-Rebels Say

Forces loyal to South Sudan’s deputy leader want a United Nations mission in the country to separate them from the president’s troops, after days of attacks forced them from their bases in the capital, a spokesman said.

“A third-party force should be deployed as buffer zone between our forces and forces loyal to President Salva Kiir, so there’s no further confrontation,” James Gatdet Dak said by phone from Nairobi, the capital of neighboring Kenya. “We’d prefer the current peacekeepers and if there’s any additional force it will be added to the current United Nations post.”

Clashes that erupted in Juba on July 7 and continued sporadically until Monday have claimed at least 272 lives. South Sudan, which marked its fifth anniversary of independence from Sudan on Saturday, has been ruled by a transitional government since April, after Kiir and rebel leader turned Vice President Riek Machar agreed to work together to end a civil war that began in December 2013 and left tens of thousands of people dead.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an East African bloc that mediated the peace agreement, on Monday said it’s demanding a revision of the UN mission’s mandate, to allow for the establishment of an intervention force and increase the number of troops from the region.

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