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LOBONOK - 19 Nov 2018

Cirillo's NAS accuses government, SPLA-IO forces of attacks near Juba

The rebel group National Salvation Front (NAS) led by Gen. Thomas Cirillo has accused government troops and SPLA-IO fighters of launching joint attacks on its base in Lobonok area near the capital Juba on Friday.

Lobonok, the home village of Vice President James Wani Igga, is located about 30 kilometers south of Juba on the east bank of the Nile.

 “The attack was organized by Brig. Peter Yugo Lako and Col. Augustino Modi who were recruited by the Vice President James Wani Igga while they were on medical leave in Uganda. Precisely, during the recent visit of the Vice President to Uganda,” said Suba Samuel, a spokesperson for the NAS group.

“On the influence of Vice President, the two officers cut short their medical leave and proceeded to Lobonok to wage this attack,” adds the statement.

The group reiterated its commitment to the cessation of hostilities deal signed on December 2017 in Ethiopia. However, the opposition group said it will fight for self-defense should its forces come under attack.

Meanwhile, Lam Paul Gabriel, deputy military spokesman for Machar's SPLA-IO armed group denied any clashes with NAS troops in Lobonok.

“We did not attack them. What happened is that they attacked General Peter Yugo after he defected from them and joined us,” he said.

“We don’t have any agreement with the government to launch joint operations in the area,” he added.

Military officials in Juba could not immediately be reached for comment.