Despite the two parties being granted a 24-hour extension period, a year-long series of negotiations in Addis Ababa ended with the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) failing to reach an agreement by the 5 March deadline imposed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the regional trading bloc that oversaw the negotiations. Following the collapse of the talks, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) intensified its assault on SPLA-IO positions in the three states that constitute the Greater Upper Nile region (Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile).
The conflict in Upper Nile has two principal theatres. On 7 March, in the northwest of the state, the SPLA dislodged the SPLA-IO from Wadakona, the Manyo county capital, from where it had spent the rainy season shelling Renk town, on the opposite bank of the White Nile. In the south of Upper Nile, the SPLA is launching sorties against the SPLA-IO from Nasir town, which it held throughout the rainy season, towards Mathiang, in Longochuk county, and Maiwut town, in Maiwut county.
Following the loss of Wadakona, these are the last two administrative centres in Upper Nile under SPLA-IO control.
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