Over 150 Dead As South Sudan Army, Rebels Clash
Officials in south Sudan say more than 150 people have been killed in clashes between the region's army and two separate rebel militias.
Army officials say one militia, led by Gabriel Tanginya, surrendered late Sunday after a fierce gunbattle a day earlier. Army spokesman Malaak Ayuen says 57 rebels and seven solders died in the battle.
Officials say Tanginya's militia was being integrated into the army when an argument broke out, sparking the clash in Jonglei state.
Ayuen says more than 100 people died in separate fighting between soldiers and a rebel group led by former general Peter Gadet.
He says that fighting took place over several days last week as Gadet's men tried to seize towns in Mayom county, in Unity state. Both sides claimed the upper hand in the fighting. Gadet's militia says it killed hundreds of army soldiers.
Hundreds have died in fighting across southern Sudan since January, when the region voted to split from the north. Southern leaders have accused the north of backing the rebellions to destabilize the region ahead of independence in July.
Northern and southern Sudan fought a 21-year civil war that ended with a 2005 peace agreement.
The sides are still trying to resolve issues over borders and the fate of the oil-producing Abyei region, which sits on the north-south border.
Article by VOA News