Skip to main content
JUBA CITY - 23 Feb 2024

NAS commander defects to government

Governor Adil and state officials welcomed the NAS defectors. (Courtesy photo)
Governor Adil and state officials welcomed the NAS defectors. (Courtesy photo)

The Governor of Central Equatoria state on Wednesday welcomed high-ranking members of the rebel National Salvation Front (NAS) led by their operations commander, Col. Joseph Lasu Laila who defected with 600 men.

The group used to operate under the command of Lt. Gen. John Kenyi Loburon.

Col. Lasu commended the Central Equatoria State government for receiving them and appealed to those waging war against the government to denounce rebellion.

“I Col. Joseph Lasu Laila, do hereby declare that I have resigned from serving within the NAS under the leadership of Gen. Thomas Cirilo and immediately join the peace wagon under the wise and visionary leadership of Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit,” Lasu said.

The 56-year-old former rebel said the presidential amnesty encouraged him and his group to abandon NAS and join the government.

“I was in the bush and I am currently here because I am tired of the war,” he explained. “I had several accidents and got broken in the leg like six times, so, with movement in the bush I said let me come to join the presidential call for peace.”

For his part, Latio Paul Abas, the Commissioner General of the state Insurance Regulatory Authority, who is also the state SPLM spokesperson, welcomed Col. Lasu.

“Today we are happy to have received one of our elders and a leader from NAS, Joseph Lasu Laila, who heeded the presidential amnesty to come for peace,” he said. “The government and the governor of Central Equatoria State received him today (Wednesday) and we appreciated them for having listened to the appeal of the people of Central Equatoria State”

Governor Adil reaffirmed his commitment to welcoming any holdout groups who abandon rebellion. He assured the former rebels of their safety and said they would be integrated into the SSPDF.