Clashes between government forces (SPLA army) and rebels (SPLM-IO) took place in Mundu and Mangalatore (Yei River state) on Friday, September 14, and Saturday, September 15, days after both sides signed a peace deal. According to rebel forces, the SPLA, supported by a pro-government militia, attacked against SPLM-IO positions near the border with Uganda. An SPLM-IO spokesperson stated that at least 12 government soldiers were killed. The UNMISS (UN Mission in South Sudan) announced that one of their peacekeepers was also shot and wounded by a government soldier in Yei (Central Equatoria state) on Saturday. Further clashes are possible.
President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar signed a power-sharing deal in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) on September 12, following a series of talks. A previous peace agreement was signed on June 27, but breached on June 30, to end a civil war that has killed at least 50,000 people and displaced some three million.
South Sudan has been wracked by years of political, interethnic, and intercommunal violence - exacerbated by border and oil revenue disputes with Sudan. Following the 2011 signature of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that gave the country its independence from Sudan, the predominantly north-south conflict has given way to a pattern of internal violence. Since December 2013, the country has experienced an intermittent civil war waged between the Kiir government and the SPLA on one side, and former Vice President Machar and the SPLA-MO on the other. A 2015 peace agreement has failed to prevent outbreaks of ethnic and political violence and the conflict has continued despite international support for state-building and peacekeeping - including the 12,000-strong UNMISS force, deployed since 2011. Various factions had signed what was supposed to be a permanent ceasefire on December 21, 2017, in an effort to revive the 2015 peace agreement; however, the ceasefire was violated three days later.
Many Western governments advise against nonessential travel to South Sudan. Certain regions should be particularly avoided, including the states of Unity and Upper Nile, the north of Warrap state, parts of Eastern and Central Equatoria states, and areas along the border with the Central African Republic, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. If travel is necessary, ensure that proper security protocols are in place.