Wednesday, February 06, 2019

South Sudan Rebels Say Fully Controlling Positions Despite Attacks
Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers take a break during a military assault drill in Nzara on the outskirts of Yambio November 29, 2013. (Reuters Photo)

February 2, 2019 (JUBA) - The holdout National Salvation Front led by Thomas Cirilo said on Saturday they have managed to repel attacks on their positions by the government forces during the past five days.

The rebel group recently reported several attacks by the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) on its positions in Yei River State and accused Juba of violating a cessation of hostilities agreement.

"NAS gallant forces managed to absorb the first phase of Mathiang Anyoor Militia attacks in the course of last five (5) days in Yei River State," said the group spokesperson Suba Samuel Manase, in a statement he extended to Sudan Tribune.

According to Manase they repulsed the SSPDF soldiers from Senema village o the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday. He further accused the army of looting villagers while they were heading to their base in Kojiko.

Further, he said they defeated the assailing forces that were coming from Kagulu in Morsak. He added an armoured vehicle overturned off the bridge near Lujulo during the hasty withdrawal.

"The enemy forces are now contained by NAS on the main roads and all the supply lines blocked. Generally, since the start of this incursion, the (SSPDF) killed nine (9) civilians. NAS sustained one martyr and five (5) wounded," he said.

He stressed that the group’s fighters in Mundiri, Maridi, Torit, northern Juba, and Rokon are at maximum alert, as they expect new attacks in the upcoming days.

IGAD special envoy for South Sudan called to cease fire saying the regional bloc was "dismayed at the reports of recurring violations of the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities".

More than a month, he met with the non-signatory groups in order to bring them to join the revitalized peace agreement.

Manase in a recent statement claimed that the SPLM-IO was coordinating attacks with the SSPDF, on their positions.

On Saturday, he said the SPLM-IO attacked NAS base in Kajo Keji, but they managed to repulse the attack.

Before the signing of the revitalized peace pact on 12 September 2018, SPLM-IO and NAS clashed several times because they are present in the same areas in Yei River State and other parts of the greater Equatoria region.

The continuation of violence in the southern region of South Sudan may impede the already delayed implementation of the security arrangements.

The holdout group call for a genuine federal system of governance in the country.


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