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South Sudanese rebels say four government troops killed in fresh attacks

South Sudanese soldiers walk alongside a tank as they withdraw from the town of Jau on March 17, 2013 (Reuters file photo)

May 6, 2020 -JUBA) - The National Salvation Front (NAS) fighters killed four government troops who attacked their position southwest of Juba on Tuesday, according to the group spokesperson on Wednesday.

Suba Samuel Manase NAS Spokesman accused the South Sudan People’s Defence Force (SSPDF) and the Sudan People’ s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA IO) of launching fresh attacks on their position in Central Equatoria State.

"On 5th May 2020, the SSPDF force at Katigiri; Wonduruba Payam, attacked a NAS position at around 8:00 am in the morning," said Manase in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

"NAS forces fought back in self-defence and dispersed the attacking enemy force which lost four (4) soldiers," he added without elaborating about the human causalities from their side.

The rebel official said the SSPDF troops together with the SPLA-IO fighters assaulted NAS advance base in the out-skirt of Loka on Wednesday morning.

"This (joint) force is still fighting with the intention to reach other NAS bases in the area," he said.

The government and the SSOMA factions including NAS recommitted themselves to the cessation of hostilities of 21 December 2017.

The Sant’Egidio mediators who brokered the deal recently condemned the recent government attack on the rebel positions and civilians in Yei area and called to abide by the truce.

NAS spokesman denounced the attack and accused the government of seeking to use the global lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic to capture NAS positions and displace civilians who are accused of supporting the rebel group.