US tells off Juba over rebels support claims

Thursday March 16 2017

Rebel troops of Riek Machar's Sudan People's

Rebel troops of Riek Machar's Sudan People's Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) unload their weapons at their military site in Juba on April 25, 2016. PHOTO | AFP 


The United States has rubbished fresh accusations that it is supporting dissident groups in South Sudan, which have vowed to topple President Salva Kiir’s government.

In a statement to media in Juba, the US embassy denied knowledge of the claims of plotting to install a new regime in South Sudan via military means.

“The US reiterates its long-held view that there is no military solution to the political crisis in South Sudan and renews its call upon all parties to the conflict to end military operations immediately and comply with the permanent ceasefire in the peace agreement,” the embassy said.

Local media reported recently that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been aiding the newly-formed rebel faction under the leadership of South Sudan’s former army deputy chief General Thomas Cirilo Swaka.

General Cirilo has heightened political tension in South Sudan after mobilising dissident groups to join ranks with him, vowing to bring down President Kiir’s government.

But the US embassy said it was not responsible for the turmoil in the young nation, and called upon the warring factions to commit to peaceful dialogue to resolve their political differences.
The US had earlier warned South Sudan's leaders of possible targeted sanctions should they fail to end the conflict.

South Sudan has been in conflict since December 2013 when President Kiir and his then deputy Riek Machar fell out.