US condemns truce violation in S Sudan

February 20, 2014 - 4:52:07 am

WASHINGTON: The United States yesterday denounced a “blatant” violation of the South Sudan ceasefire deal negotiated in January after weeks of bloodshed which left thousands dead.

Fighting between the army and rebels in the northeastern town of Malakal appears to have been the heaviest since the government of President Salva Kiir and rebels loyal to former vice president Riek Machar signed the truce.

“We are deeply concerned by reports of extensive fighting in and around Malakal,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters at the daily press briefing.

Calling it a “blatant violation of the cessation of hostilities agreement” signed January 23 in Ethiopia, Harf condemned “the failure of both parties” to respect the truce.AFP