Gen. Thomas Cirilo’s NAS says SPLM-IO preparing to attack them in Central Equatoria

NAS Chairman Gen. Thomas Cirilo (File photo)

October 21st 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – The National Salvation Front (NAS) led by Gen. Thomas Cirilo said on Sunday that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by South Sudan’s former First Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon is preparing to attack them in Central Equatoria region.

Fighting broke out in Central Equatoria region’s Yei River state between government and opposition forces last week with rebel infighting engulfing the Equatoria region. Both sides have accused the other of first attacking.

In a statement issued on Sunday signed by the group’s spokesman, Suba Samuel Manase, the National Salvation Front (NAS) led by Gen. Thomas Cirilo said they are aware that the main rebel opposition group led by Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon is preparing to attack its bases in Yei River state.

“This press release is to inform the public specially the leadership of SPLM/A-IO that, NAS is aware of the ongoing plan to attack our military positions in Kajo- Keji, Lanya and Loka respectively,” the statement issued by NAS partly read.

The statement further claimed, based on what it calls NAS intelligence, two groups from the main armed opposition group are moving from an area in Morobo County and Lainya to in Kajo-Keji County to attack their basis there.

“According to NAS intelligence, there are two groups of SPLM/A IO forces moving from Panyume, Morobo County to Kajo-Keji, Lanya and Loka aiming at attacking the positions of NAS forces,” the statement further added.

The planned attack, according to the NAS is commanded by Lt. Col. Mure who has been directed by the SPLM-IO Chairman and Commander in Chief Dr. Riek Machar to attack NAS in the area.

“The SPLM/A-IO des-tined to Kajo-Keji is estimated to be two Platoon plus, and is commanded by Lt. Col Mure and the other force heading to Loka; its composition and command is yet to be established, it is unfortunate that this planed operation is directed by SPLM/A-O C-n-C Dr. Riek Machar who further instructed his commanders to accurately manage the operation and record (Video) of the attack for propaganda,” the statement added.

The statement said the planned attack by the SPLM-IO violates the agreement on the cessation of hostilities agreement signed by South Sudan parties including Thomas Cirilo’s NAS in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

“This SPLM/A-IO continues to aggression is a violation of session of hostilities signed December 2017. NAS Command would like to make it clear that our forces are at maximum alert and are aware of this military development and shall defend themselves in case of any attack,” it said.

“We therefore, call upon SPLM/A-IO leadership to reconsider or evaluate their decision, otherwise NAS reserves ultimate right of self-defense,” it added.