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YEI - 1 Jun 2020

NAS accuses SSPDF and SPLA-IO of joint military operations

The opposition National Salvation Front (NAS) has accused forces under the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF), as well as the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in Opposition (SPLA-IO) of joint military offensives on its positions in several parts of Central Equatoria State.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Wednesday, the spokesperson of NAS, Suba Samuel Manase said SSPDF and SPLA-IO forces have been targeting their locations around Kajo-Keji, Yei, Lainya, Morobo, Otogo counties, along Yei -Maridi road and in parts of Maridi and Mundri areas.

“The SSPDF and the SPLA-IO have declared war on our positions. The government is mounting its joint offensives on NAS and has deployed its forces on all the roads leading to Kajo-Keji, Yei-Juba, Yei-Congo and Yei Maridi so that they can be able to launch these attacks on our bases and locations,” he said.

Suba claimed that the government has several times violated the Rome Declaration.

The holdout opposition group signed a truce agreement with the government in Rome on 12 January.

Suba said NAS forces will fight back in self-defense once attacked.

For his part, Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel, the deputy military spokesman of the SPLA-IO denied the alleged involvement of their forces in military offensives against the holdout opposition group.

Instead, he accused NAS of attacking SPLA-IO forces with the aim of disorganizing the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.  

“We don’t want war; we are moving toward implementation of the peace agreement. NAS needs to find right ways to join the peace agreement, not through war,” he said.

The SSPDF spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.