S. Sudan rivals deny presence of Egyptian troops
By Atem Simon, Saturday, May 03, 2014
JUBA – The South Sudanese army and rebels have denied reports about the presence of Egyptian troops in South Sudan.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, army spokesman Philip Aguer said that there were no Egyptian troops on South Sudanese territories.
Local Sudanese media had reported that 14 Egyptian soldiers had been captured by forces loyal to rebel leader Riek Machar in the Jonglei state.
According to the reports, rebel forces captured the Egyptian soldiers along with four Ugandan troops in Jonglei's Ayod town.
But Aquer denied reports about clashes between government forces and rebels in Ayod, saying that the town remains under the control of government forces.
Machar, for his part, denied reports that Egyptian troops were fighting in South Sudan.
Speaking to AA from an undisclosed location on Saturday, Machar said that he has not received reports about the capture of Egyptian and Ugandan soldiers by his troops.
There was no comment from Egyptian authorities.
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when President Salva Kiir accused Machar, a former vice president, of leading a failed coup attempt against his regime.
The conflict has already claimed more than 10,000 lives, with the U.N. estimating that some one million South Sudanese have been displaced by the violence.
In January, the two sides signed an IGAD-brokered cessation of hostilities agreement in Addis Ababa.
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