South Sudan Rebel Attacks Have Killed 34 People Since Beginning of Year

A newly arrived refugee fleeing from recent fighting in Lasu in South Sudan waits for registration by the National Commission for Refugees (CNR) after crossing the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo, near Aba, on Dec. 23, 2017. Photographer: Simona Folytn/AFP via Getty Images

A newly arrived refugee fleeing from recent fighting in Lasu in South Sudan waits for registration by the National Commission for Refugees (CNR) after crossing the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo, near Aba, on Dec. 23, 2017. Photographer: Simona Folytn/AFP via Getty Images

Attacks by rebel groups in South Sudan killed 34 people in the first three days of this year even as warring parties agreed in December to cease hostilities, according to a military official.

Three attacks in the south of the country by rebels loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar and the army’s ex-deputy chief of staff, Thomas Cirillo Swaka, left six assailants dead Wednesday while an ambush on traveling traders killed four civilians, military spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said in an emailed statement. Another nine rebels, 11 civilians and four soldiers died in earlier attacks in the oil rich Northern Liech state, he said.

 Last month, warring parties agreed to end fighting from midnight Dec. 24.
“It has been very difficult for us to implement the peace agreement because we have unfaithful partners who are always attacking us,” Koang said.

Paul Gabriel Lam, a spokesman for the rebel group, didn’t answer calls seeking comment.

A civil war in South Sudan that began in 2013 has left tens of thousands of people dead and displaced four million others. An earlier peace deal between President Salva Kiir and Machar shattered in July when a transitional government fell apart after fighting in the capital, Juba.

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