What you need to know:
- The attack coincided with the end of the rainy season, which had left roads impassable, and triggered aid workers to warn of more humanitarian misery.
Washington Thursday slammed fresh fighting in South Sudan, and denounced the “senseless man-made conflict” that has left thousands dead and forced millions to flee their homes.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the latest attacks” by rebels in and around Bentiu, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a sharply-worded statement.
“Despite the parties’ recent acceptance of collective responsibility for the crisis, these current attacks demonstrate that the SPLM/A-IO has yet to abandon violence to achieve its goals,” she said in a statement.
She was referring to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition, which on Wednesday launched the first major attack on the town of Bentiu in months.
The attack coincided with the end of the rainy season, which had left roads impassable, and triggered aid workers to warn of more humanitarian misery.
“As the conflict persists and the humanitarian crisis continues to reach even more appalling levels, it is more urgent than ever to respect previous agreements to end the hostilities, cease the recruitment and mobilization of forces, including that of child soldiers, and engage earnestly in inclusive negotiations,” Ms Psaki said.
Bentiu, the state capital of the previously key oil-producing Unity state, has changed hands several times since the war broke out in December 2013.