130 rebels killed in South Sudan fighting
Iran Press TV
Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:31PM
At least 130 rebel fighters have been killed in clashes with government forces in South Sudan's northern Upper Nile State.
Military spokesman Colonel Philip Aguer said on Tuesday that the heavy clashes took place in Manyo County of the oil-bearing state a day earlier.
He said 14 government soldiers were also killed in the fighting.
Aguer added that the rebels were driven back from their positions, and some fled toward Sudan's territory.
Rebel military spokesman, Lony Ngundeng, in return, accused the government troops of launching an attack on their positions.
He said the government troops suffered heavy losses, including "many fighters" who drowned in the White Nile River.
Earlier this month, negotiations in Ethiopia between representatives of South Sudan's warring parties aimed at putting an end to the civil war that has been going on in the country for 15 months failed to secure a deal.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said in a statement that South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and rebel leader, Riek Machar, missed the March 5 deadline to reach a peace agreement, and extension of the negotiations into the following day "did not produce the necessary breakthrough."
A regional bloc overseeing the talks, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), had brought together South Sudanese government and rebel delegations in the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Ababa to convince the two sides to settle issues, among them power sharing. No date has been set for the next meeting between the warring sides.
South Sudan plunged into chaos in December 2013, when fighting erupted between troops loyal to the president and defectors led by his former deputy, Machar, around the capital, Juba. The clashes left tens of thousands of people dead and forced almost two million people from their homes.
South Sudan gained independence in July 2011 after its people overwhelmingly voted in a referendum for a split from Sudan.
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