Clashes between government forces (SPLA army) and rebels took place on Saturday, June 30, the day a ceasefire outlined in the June 27 peace agreement was due to take effect. Both sides have placed the blame on the other for the attacks. According to rebel forces, the SPLA, supported by a pro-government militia, attacked rebel positions in the northwestern village of Mboro, near the border with Sudan. According to the government, rebels launched coordinated attacks on SPLA positions in four states. The number of casualties remain unknown.
President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar signed a peace agreement in Khartoum (Sudan) on June 27, following a series of talks. The terms of the agreement included a permanent ceasefire and the deployment of African Union troops to uphold the treaty.
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 government of Kiir and the SPLA on one side, and former Vice President Machar and the SPLA-IO 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 United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), 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.
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