South Sudan army, NAS rebels clash near RDC border
February 7, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s rebel group National Salvation Front (NAS) led by Thomas Cirilo Thursday said they repelled fresh attacks by the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) near the Southwestern border with Congo.
UN reports say the security situation in South Sudan has improved in the country since the signing of the revitalized peace agreement on 12 September 2019. However international body points out that the Equatoria province remains the exception, due to the continued clashes between the government forces and NAS which rejects the deal.
NAS Spokesperson Suba Manase once again accused the government army of violating the cessation of hostilities agreement and attacking their positions in a far remote area of Senema near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday 4 February.
“NAS gallant forces inflicted heavy causalities to the Mathiang Anyoor Militia leaving them retreating to Kojiko,” Manase added without providing more details.
He further accused the SSPDF of “intensifying its campaign of terror against civilians in the villages around Yei and Morobo”.
In a related development, the rebel official claimed that SPLA-IO forces attacked their position in Kajo-Keji, in Yei River State, adding they anticipated the offensive and withdrew their fighters from the area before to ambush the assailants later on.
Last Monday SPLA-IO deputy spokesperson Lam Paul Gabriel dismissed NAS previous statement about an attack carried by the SPLA-IO on their position in Kajo Keji saying they want to give an impression of having a presence in the area.
In a press statement released on 2 February NAS’s “spokesperson accused the SPLA IO of attacking their position in Kajo keji, this is completely false and an attempt to show presence in the area,” said Gabriel.
“NAS TC does not have forces in Kajo keji,” he stressed.
Last Monday, the Chairman of CTSAMVM Desta Abiche Ageno voiced concern about the continued clashes in Yei River State and called on the IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan to bring the holdout opposition groups to join the peace process.