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NAS accuses S. Sudan army, militias of “unprovoked” attacks

September 8, 2019 (JUBA) – The National Salvation Front (NAS) leadership has accused South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and its militias of allegedly carrying out “unprovoked” attacks on its positions in Yei River State.

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Exiled South Sudanese rebel general Thomas Cirillo poses for a photograph inside his hotel room in Addis Ababa, on April 17, 2017 (Reuters photo)

NAS, in a statement issued Saturday, said SSPDF intensified its military campaign of aggression by attacking its military positions around Yei and Lainya county.

“The NAS forces heroically fought back in self-defense, repulsed the attack, pursued the enemy and overran their positions in Bereka and Mukaya. The defeated SSPDF and their allied militia fled towards Lainya and Yei town in disarray,” partly reads the statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

“In both operations the enemy suffered losses in men and material. Twenty Five (25) SSPDF soldiers were killed in action and several others wounded. Twenty (23) AK-47 rifles, three (3) RPG-7 launchers, a number of RPG shells and a good quantity of ammunition were captured in good condition,” it added.

Sudan Tribune could, however, not independently verify claims from the rebel group.

The hold-out faction also claimed five of their soldiers sustained minor injuries.

Separately, NAS claimed its positions in Mongalla came under attack from the armed opposition (SPLM/IO) force on Friday, but they were repulsed and ended up “looting and torturing the civilian population in the area”.

The group, however, reiterated its commitment to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA), signed in December 2017 in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia.

South Sudan descended into civil war in mid-December 2013 and the ongoing conflict has created one of the fastest-growing refugee crises in the world.

In September last year, the South Sudan’s rival factions signed a revitalized peace agreement, aimed at ending the devastating civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions

(ST)