Former Vice President Plans to Resume South Sudanese Rebellion

(Bloomberg) -- South Sudan’s former vice president said he plans to resume armed struggle against the government, signaling the possible revival of a civil war that’s already claimed tens of thousands of lives in the oil-producing nation.

Rebel leader Riek Machar’s representatives in a statement denounced the “authoritarian and fascist” government of President Salva Kiir and said their group, which was previously a partner in a transitional government, will reorganize to challenge him. Machar and his fighters were forced out of the capital, Juba, in July after attacks by Kiir’s troops. He was later replaced as Kiir’s deputy.

“The people of South Sudan should brace for long-term popular armed resistance,” Machar said in a separate statement. The declarations came after four days of meeting in Khartoum, the capital of neighboring Sudan, where Machar has been seeking medical treatment.

An internationally backed South Sudanese transitional government was formed in April to try and end a conflict in African’s newest nation that began in December 2013 when a power struggle within the ruling party led to splits within the military.

The East African newspaper reported at the weekend that former Agriculture Minister Lam Akol has started a political party to fight against what he said were the threats of totalitarianism and corruption in the country. Akol, who said in an interview with the newspaper that he’s founding the National Democratic Movement, resigned from the interim government in August, accusing Kiir of violating a peace agreement.