South Sudan clashes leave nearly 100 dead
Around 100 people have been killed and dozens of others injured since renewed fighting broke out Sunday between government armed forces and rebels loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, an army spokesman said Wednesday.
The clashes took place in a volatile northeastern part of the country with both sides claiming victory, as the east African regional bloc -- Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an economic bloc that helped brokered a pact between the warring sides -- attempts to restart talks aimed at bringing estranged groups to the negotiating table.
Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang told Anadolu Agency Wednesday clashes around Waat town in Bieh state claimed the lives of five soldiers and 91 rebels.
Koang said violence broke out on Sunday and continued till Tuesday, and more casualties are expected as fighting resumed Wednesday morning.
"We came under attack from opposition forces loyal to Riek Machar; however, we repulsed them and killed 91," he said.
Rebel spokesman Mabior Garang Mabior accused government forces of breaching a cease-fire and said they also killed several soldiers after the government attempted to launch offensives on their position.
"It is always one side that gets all the loses during combats, the government must also accept that we killed some of their soldiers in good number," Mabior said.
South Sudan has been mired in conflict between the government of President Salva Kiir and rebels led by Machar since December 2013.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands, displaced almost 4 million people from their homes, including over a million refugees who have fled to the neighboring countries, with Uganda alone hosting 1 million.
International and regional leaders have called for an end to the conflict in the East African nation but several truces have been broken by either side.