Former rebels aligned with Vice President Riek Machar on Wednesday accused the South Sudanese government of arrests and killings they said could drag the country back to civil war.
“If the government does not take good care of this case and the arrested opposition members are not released, then this may take us back to war because that’s the only solution for the government to free our soldiers and officials,” spokesman Col. William Gatjiath Deng told journalists.
Forces that were led by Machar during South Sudan’s two-year civil war have complained that the security and intelligence have targeted their members for arrest and killing in recent days.
South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, and First Vice President, Riek Machar, have called on their military commanders in the national capital, Juba, to desist from escalating fighting in the capital.
Media official of the opposition faction said the two leaders spoke on the phone shortly after the Thursday clashes and vowed to restrain their respective forces.
“The two Commanders-in-Chief, President Salva Kiir of SPLA and First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar of SPLA (IO) have agreed to order their army Generals not to escalate the situation,” Machar’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, revealed to Sudan Tribune on Thursday evening.