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Central Equatoria governor calls on NAS rebels to observe ceasefire

President Kiir shakes hands with Emmanel Adil Anthony C Equatoria Governor 27 Sept 2019 (SSPPU photo)
September 9, 2020 (JUBA) - Emmanuel Adil Anthony Governor of Central Equatoria State called on the National Salvation Front (NAS) of General Thomas Cirilo to observe the cessation of hostilities agreement.

Anthony made his call after a meeting with President Salva Kiir on Wednesday to brief him on the security situation in the state after a series of attacks between the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) and NAS fighters.

He told reporters that the situation has improved relatively in most parts of Central Equatoria, with only minor crimes occurring in some parts of Juba.

The governor further urged the holdout group of Thomas Cirilo "to cease attacks on civilian vehicles on the highway" and appealed of General Thomas Cirilo to respect the ceasefire agreement.

Last February, the opposition alliance including NAS recommitted itself to the cessation of hostilities agreement of December 2017 in an agreement brokered by the Sant’Egidio religious community in Rome.

Two civilians were killed and four injured when a vehicle was ambushed by unknown gunmen on the road between Yei and Lasu on 1 September. Similar attacks occurred on humanitarian convoys on Juba Yei road. NAS fighters were accused of being behind the attack.

UNMISS established a temporary peacekeeping base at Lobonok in the Central Equatoria State in a bid to deter the growing attacks on civilians and humanitarian convoys.

According to the peacekeeping mission, the surge in violence against civilians follows the killing of six bodyguards working for South Sudan’s Vice President, James Wani Igga, in the Lobonok area in late August by the fighters of the rebel group who are active in the area.