South Sudan – (warsoor) – South Sudan is “back to war”, a spokesman for the vice-president has told the BBC, as rival factions clash and hundreds have been reported killed.
Forces loyal to Vice-President Riek Machar say government troops attacked their positions in the capital, Juba.
But Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said the reports of war were “dishonest”.
The UN mission said hundreds had sought shelter in its compounds, and called for leaders to restrain their troops.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned what he called the “senseless violence“. The UN Security Council is to hold an emergency session later on Sunday to discuss South Sudan.
‘Situation under control’
Col William Gatjiath, Mr Machar’s military spokesman, told the BBC President Salva Kiir “isn’t serious” about a peace agreement.
He said “hundreds” of Mr Machar’s troops had died on Sunday, and that troops loyal to Mr Machar were advancing on Juba from different directions.
Mr Lueth said government troops responded when Mr Machar’s forces attacked a checkpoint, adding that those forces had now been scattered. “The situation is normal and it is under full control,” he added.
The clashes follow days of fighting in the world’s newest country between supporters of Mr Kiir and Mr Machar.
At least 150 people were killed in fighting on Friday, before calm was restored on Saturday. Local radio station Radio Tamazuj reported on Sunday that the death toll from those clashes may be as high as 271.
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