US denies aiding S. Sudan rebels

JUBA. – The US government on Tuesday dismissed as “false and baseless” local media reports that it is giving support to South Sudanese rebels seeking to topple the current government. The US embassy in South Sudan said in a statement that Washington does not provide training, equipment or any other type of support to opposition forces seeking to overthrow the government of South Sudan.

“Recent assertions in local media that the US is providing such support are false, baseless and not in the interest of peace in South Sudan,” the statement said.

“The US reiterates its long-held view that there is no military solution to the political crisis in South Sudan, and renews its call upon all parties to the conflict to end military operations immediately and comply with the permanent ceasefire in the peace agreement,” it added.

South Sudan has had frosty relations with the administration of former US President Barrack Obama with Juba accusing Washington of plotting a regime change agenda in the conflict-hit East African nation.

The world’s newest country also survived a number of US-led proposals at the UN Security Council calling for imposition of arms embargo and targeted sanctions on the country’s leaders.

In his address to parliament last month, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said his government is seeking to renew ties with the Trump administration. South Sudan has been devastated by civil war that broke out in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup.

Machar denied the accusation but then mobilised a rebel force.

A peace deal signed in August 2015 led to the formation of a transitional unity government in April 2016 but was again devastated by fresh violence in July 2016. Tens of thousands of South Sudanese have been killed, with over 2 million displaced and another 4.6 million left severely food insecure, since December 2013. – Xinhua.

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